Part 3 of many about our epic wedding, is about wedding readings. Every Friday since November, I'm discussing one part of our very intentionally planned wedding, because reading about weddings can be addicting and crazy, but there's so much more about how to pick your colors than about how to choose the things that really matter
- the promises you make, the things you choose to represent you throughout the day or weekend.
without further ado, thoughts on wedding readings & speeches.
We chose an assortment of readings that we felt like we just loved.
1. Touched by an Angel by Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
2. Untitled by Neil Gaiman
A Poem by Neil Gaiman
This for you, for both of you,
a small poem of happiness
filled with small glories and little triumphs
a fragile, short cheerful song
filled with hope and all sorts of futures
Because at weddings we imagine the future
Because it's all about "what happened next?"
all the work and negotiation and building and talk
that makes even the tiniest happily ever after
something to be proud of for a wee forever
This is a small thought for both of you
like a feather or a prayer,
a wish of trust and love and hope
and fine brave hearts and true.
Like a tower, or a house made all of bones and dreams
and tomorrows and tomorrows and tomorrows
3. Instructions for the New Millennium by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“Take into account that great love
and great achievements involve great risk.
And that a loving atmosphere in your home
is the foundation for your life.
Be gentle with the earth, be gentle with one another.
When disagreements come remember always
to protect the spirit of your union.
When you realize you’ve made a mistake,
take immediate steps to correct it.
Remember that the best relationship is one
in which your love for each other
exceeds your need for each other.
So love yourselves, love one another,
love all that is your life together and all else will follow.”
And a few others we considered but decided not to use:
From Captain Corelli's Mandolin:
Love is a temporary madness,
it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together
that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement,
it is not the promulgation of eternal passion.
That is just being "in love" which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.
From Carmen Bugan:
"A House of Stone" by Carmen Bugan
In the village where I was born, we wish
A house of stone to shelter the heart of the marriage
So here too, I wish you
Obstinate, strong love, unyielding and unending.
May you be in reach of each other when all seems lost,
May your tears and your smiles happen always face to face.
When you imagine that you have shared everything
May you know that you still have the rest of your lives
To do all of it again and again.
But now listen to the hurry of bells and
Look how petals of roses about the vineyard
Bring you the words husband and wife:
First words in your house of stone.
From Plato's Symposium
Humans have never understood the power of Love, for if they had they would surely have built noble temples and altars and offered solemn sacrifices; but this is not done, and most certainly ought to be done, since Love is our best friend, our helper, and the healer of the ills which prevent us from being happy.
To understand the power of Love, we must understand that our original human nature was not like it is now. Human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. There were three sexes then: one comprised of two men called the children of the Sun, one made of two women called the children of the Earth, and a third made of a man and a woman, called the children of the Moon. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the Gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought for a way to end the humans’ insolence without destroying them.
Zeus divided the humans in half. After the division the two parts of each desiring their other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one. So ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of humankind.
And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. We pass our whole lives together, desiring that we should be melted into one, to spend our lives as one person instead of two, and so that after our death there will be one departed soul instead of two; this is the very expression of our ancient need.