Inspirational Readings:

What is Marriage? (Anonymous)


What is marriage?
Marriage is more than the exchange of rings
and the sharing of a household;
It is much more than just living together.
It is the desire to truly want to know and
understand another human being;
to feel and share in that person's
happiness, as well as their pain.
Marriage is to never feel alone;
but rather, to know that you always
have a friend; a partner in life that
you can laugh and cry with.
To know that you always have that
special someone to share your
innermost thoughts and fears,
and know that you will be heard.
Marriage is helping your partner to be
the absolute best that they can be,
while still being able to experience
your own need and goals.
Marriage is love;
true love that goes far beyond passion;
It is a love that you can reach for
in times of crisis as well as joy,
and know it will be there
to comfort and to share.

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Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments . Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
Oh no! It is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom .
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

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Love Is by Susan Polis Schutz


Love is
being happy for the other person
when they are happy
being sad for the other person when they are sad
being together in good times
and being together in bad times
Love is the source of strength
Love is
being honest with yourself at all times
being honest with the other person at all times
telling, listening, respecting the truth
and never pretending
Love is the source of reality
Love is
an understanding that is so complete that
you feel as if you are a part of the other person
accepting the other person just the way they are
and not trying to change them to be something else
Love is the source of unity
Love is
the freedom to pursue your own desires
while sharing your experience with the other person
the growth of one individual along side of
and together with the growth of another individual
Love is the source of success
Love is
the excitement of planning things together
the excitement of doing things together
Love is the source of the future
Love is
the fury of the storm
the calm of the rainbow
Love is the source of passion
Love is
giving and taking in a daily situation
being patient with each other's needs and desires
Love is the source of sharing
Love is
knowing that the other person
will always be with you regardless of what happens
missing the other person when they are away
but remaining near in heart at al times
Love is the source of security
Love is
the source of life

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Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (religious)


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where this is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled
as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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How Do I Love Thee? by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (mildly religious)


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My Soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old grieves, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

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Marriage Joins Two People by Edmund O'Neill


Marriage is a commitment to life
to the best that two people can find
and bring out in each other.
It offers opportunities for sharing and growth
that no other human relationship can equal,
a joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of it's 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.
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.
Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid.
It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences,
and new ways of expressing love through all seasons of life.
When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage
they create a spirit unique to themselves,
which binds them closer that any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise, a potential
made in the hearts of two people who love,
which takes a lifetime to fulfill.

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Mark 10:6-9

New King James Version (NKJV)

But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.

‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,

and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

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Wedding Day Prayer - by Reverend Timothy Gene Fotsch's (religious)

Most gracious creator, we offer our thanks for your tender love in sending your only begotten son to live among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to lay a path for forgiveness of our sins.

We thank you, Lord, for blessing the union of man and woman in your Name. By the divine energy of your Holy Spirit, please bestow your blessings upon this man and this woman.

May the Holy Spirit of God fill ______________ & ______________ with your divine energy and flush away ALL of their negative energy. Please energize this couple's mind, body and soul with your divine energy to help _________________ & __________________ to always turn over their troubles to the Lord in prayer.

The Trinity of our Lord wants his followers to prosper materially and spiritually with all the riches God can provide, both on earth and in the after life, so long as we live our lives in a loving and charitable way.

Dear Creator, Defend this couple from every enemy. Lead them into true peace. Let their love for each other become God's seal upon their hearts, and become God's mantle about their shoulders, and become God's crown upon their foreheads.

Lord bless this couple in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death.

Finally, in your mercy, bring them to the table where your saints feast forever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

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Traditional Unity Candle Ceremony

"___________________ and ________________ the two lighted candies symbolize your separate lives, your separate families and your separate sets of friends. I ask that you each take one candle and that together you light the center candle.
The individual candies represent your individual lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one."

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Interfaith Unity Candle Reading

"From every human being, there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls are destined to find each other, their two streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being. They do not lose their individuality; yet, in marriage, they are united in so close a bond that they become one. Now, following the profession of their marriage vows, they will light the large center candle from the smaller candles to symbolize this new reality. In this way, they are saying that henceforth their light must shine together for each other, for their families, and for their community."

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Unity Sand Ceremony 1


"Before you met, your lives were on separate roads, each going in different directions and seemingly leading to different destinations. But somewhere along the way you met, fell in love, and today you find yourselves standing together at the entrance of a new path that will forever join your once separate journeys into one.
"Before each of you there is a container of sand. Each represents the separate journeys you once were on, as well as your own sets of friends and families that once were apart. In a moment I will ask that you both blend your individual containers of sand together ... representing the coming together of your friends and family, through your marriage, into one. And as the sand is blended into one container, your once solitary journeys will now be one of companionship, as you walk a single path together into your future.
"I now ask that you blend your containers of sand together. (the sand is now poured) As the sand has blended together, your lives are now joined, your separate journeys through life are now one. Your friends and family are as one as well, for now you will share those who are in your lives and will walk hand-in-hand along the path of your marriage - united and strong as husband and wife, as inseparable as these grains of sand."

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Unity Sand Ceremony 2

"Your union will now be symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. Each color represents you, (names of bride and groom), and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be before this union. As your individual sands come together it reminds us that "neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord". I ask now that you each take your sand and pour them into the one vase." (the sand is now poured).
While the sand is being poured, the officiant says, "(names of bride and groom), while it's important that you both maintain your individuality, it is our hope that you will become as inseparable as these grains of sand, and always find yourselves to be one in love, commitment and joy."

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Unity Sand Ceremony 3
(Includes minister pour sand as a Grounding layer)

"Love is the eternal force of life.
Love is the force that allows us to face fear and uncertainty with courage.
But although you will be sharing one life, never forget you are two separate people.
Cherish and affirm your differences.
Love each other.
Keep your commitment primary.
Together you will laugh and cry, be sick and well, be happy and angry, share and grow.
Grow sometimes together, sometimes separately.
"To symbolize the importance of the individuals within the marriage and the joining of two lives into one entity, 3 colors of sand will now be layered into a base." (the bride, groom and minister each take their vases of sand)
"We begin with a layer of Neutral Sand which symbolizes that the marriage is grounded. (minister pours sand)
"Then we layer the individual colors. This symbolizes that the marriage is based on the strength of the individuals.
(bride and groom pour take turns pouring some of their sand)
"And now we combine the colors, which symbolizes two lives joined as one together forever." (bride and groom simultaneously pour their remaining sand) The minister then holds up the full vase as if presenting to the wedding audience and places it to the side.