(Closed) What secular reading did you use?

posted 7 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
2195 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

We had our guests read the Apache Blessing responsively at the end of our ceremony. It’s really beautiful and got everyone involved! My mom printed it on the back of our programs, so everyone had a copy.

Post # 4
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

We had one of DH’s friends read this:

The Art of a Good Marriage

Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In marriage the little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end
with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation
and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience,
understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,
dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.


I really like the message in it.

Post # 5
315 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 1997

I have had couples use this one often.


Blessing For A Marriage”  by James Dillet Freeman    


“May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another — not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more. And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another. May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another’s presence — no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.”


this one –


Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love”


Marriage is a commitment to life,

the best that two people can find

and bring out in each other.

It offers opportunities for sharing and growth

that no other relationship can equal.

It is a physical and an emotional joining

that is promised for a lifetime.


Within the circle of its love,

marriage encompasses all of life’s

most important relationships.

A wife and a husband are each other’s

best friend, confidant, lover, teacher,

listener, and critic.

And there may come times when one partner

is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other

may resemble the tender caring of a parent for

a child.


Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.

Happiness is fuller,

memories are fresher,

commitment is stronger,

even anger is felt more strongly,

and passes away more quickly.


Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes

life is unable to avoid.

It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences,

and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than



When two people pledge their love and care for

each other in marriage, they create a spirit

unique unto themselves which binds them closer

than any spoken or written words.

Marriage is a promise, a potential

made in the hearts of two people who love each other

and takes a lifetime to fulfill.


— Edmund O’Neil


and this one –


I Love You!


I love you,

Not only for what you are

But for what I am

When I am with you.


I love you

Not only for what

You have made of yourself

But for what

You are making of me.


I love you

For the part of me

That you bring out;

I love you

For, putting your hand

Into my heaped—up heart

And passing over

All the foolish, weak things

That you can’t help

Dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out

Into the light

All the beautiful belongings

 That no one else had looked

Quite far enough to find.


I love you because you…

Are helping me to make

Of the lumber of my life

Not a tavern


But a temple;

Out of works

Of my every day

Not a reproach

But a song.


I love you

Because you have done

More than any creed

Could have done

To make me good

And more than any fate

Could have done

To make me happy.


You have done it

Without a touch,

Without a word,

Without a sign.

You have done it

By being yourself.

Perhaps that is what

Being a friend means,

After all.


Post # 7
319 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

The Prophet

~Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for (your) peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the ‘nay’ in your own mind, nor do you withhold the ‘aye’. And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart; for without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unclaimed.

When you are part from your friend, you greive not; for that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

. . .

And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also. For what is your friend that should seek him only with hours to kill? Seek him always with hours to live. For it is his to fill your need, not your emptiness. And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and (the) sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

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