Wedding2point0: Wedding readings of Nature and the Spirit

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Wedding Readings of Nature and the Spirit

The following readings may be suitable for an outdoor wedding, or when you wish to add a  a spiritual, natural or environmental theme to your ceremony.

Classical Chinese Poem – unknown
I want to be your friend forever and ever
When the hills are all flat
and the rivers run dry
When the trees blossom in winter
and the snow falls in summer,
when heaven and earth mix -
not till then will I part from you.


from the I Ching
When two people are at one
in their inmost hearts
They shatter even the strength of iron, of bronze
And when two people understand each other
in their inmost hearts
Their words are sweet and strong
like the fragrance of orchids.

Double Love Song by Thomas Whitebread
Open your heart, as if you could,
Let me come into it like fire,
And let me know it as dry wood,
Pretend your being is desire.

Then turn to sandstone, as you can
And let me flow like water through
Your pores toward air, where I began
As if your earth were all of you.


from
First Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke
Understand, I’ll slip quietly

Away from the noisy crowd
When I see the pale
Stars rising, blooming over the oaks
I’ll pursue solitary pathways
Through the pale twilit meadows,
With only this one dream:
You come too.

Commitment poem of the Pueblo Indian, author unknown
 
Before we met, you and I were halves unjoined except in the wide rivers of our minds. We were each other's distant shore, the opposite wings of a bird, the other half of a seashell. We did not know the other then, did not know our determination to keep alive the cry of one riverbank to the other. We were apart, yet connected in our ignorance of each other, like two apples sharing a common tree. Remember. I knew you existed long before you understood my desire to join my freedom to yours. Our paths collided long enough for our indecision to be swallowed up by the greater need of love. When you came to me, the sun surged towards the earth and moon escaped from darkness to bless the union of two spirits, so alike that the creator had designed them for life's endless circle. Beloved partner, keeper of my heart's odd secrets, clothed in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter never touches us. I thank your patience. Our joining is like a tree to earth, a cloud to sky and even more. We are the reason the world can laugh on its battlefields and rise from the ashes of its selfishness to hear me say, in this time, this place, this way - I loved you best of all. 

Traditional Cherokee Prayer
 
We honour mother earth -
And ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons.
We honour fire -
And ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts
We honour wind -
And ask that we sail through life safe and calm in our father's arms
We honour water -
To clean and soothe our relationship that it may never thirst for love

APACHE WEDDING BLESSING
May the sun bring you new energies by day;
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away any worries you may have
And the breeze blow new strength into your being.
And all the days of your life,
May you walk gently through the world And know its beauty.

Now you will feel not the rain, for each will shelter the other.
Now you will feel not cold, for each will warm the other.
Now you will feel not solitude, for each will company the other.
Now you are two persons, but both will lead one life.
When you go to your dwelling to enter into the days of your life,
May happiness be your companion, and together
May your days be good and long upon the earth.


Hindu Marriage Poem
You have become mine forever.
Yes, we have become partners.
I have become yours.
Hereafter, I cannot live without you.
Do not live without me.
Let us share the joys.
We are word and meaning, unite.
You are thought and I am sound.

May the nights be honey-sweet for us.
May the mornings be honey-sweet for us.
May the plants be honey-sweet for us.
May the earth be honey-sweet for us.


From Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, Master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
but let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart.
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.


Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.

Touch the Air Softly by William Jay Smith

    Now touch the air softly, step gently, one, two ...
    I'll love you 'til roses are robin's egg blue;
    I'll love you 'til gravel is eaten for bread,
    And lemons are orange, and lavender's red.

    Now touch the air softly, swing gently the broom.
    I'll love you 'til windows are all of a room;
    And the table is laid, And the table is bare,
    And the ceiling reposes on bottomless air.

    I'll love you 'til heaven rips the stars from his coat,
    And the moon rows away in a glass-bottomed boat;
    And Orion steps down like a river below,
    And earth is ablaze, and oceans aglow.

    So touch the air softly, and swing the broom high.
    We will dust the grey mountains, and sweep the blue sky:
    And I'll love you as long as the furrow the plough,
    As however is ever, and ever is now.

two happy lovers make one bread by Pablo Neruda Two happy lovers make one bread,
a single moon drop in the grass.
Walking, they cast two shadows that flow together;
waking, they leave one sun empty in their bed.
Of all the possible truths, they chose the day;
they held it, not with ropes but with an aroma.
They did not shred the peace; they did not shatter words;
their happiness is a transparent tower.
The air and wine accompany the lovers.
The night delights them with its joyous petals.
They have a right to all the carnations.
Two happy lovers, without an ending, with no death,
they are born, they die, many times while they live:
they have the eternal life of the Natural.


Thank You For Your Friendship and Love, Nicholas Gordon 

Thank you for your friendship and your love.
However life may turn, this gift will be
A mountain that has made my river bend,
Nor will it flow the same way to the sea.
Knowing you is something I'm made of.
Years will not this part of me remove.
One lives for just a brief eternity,
Understanding truths that never end.

Sound of Silence - Raymond J. Baughan
Here in the space between us and the world
lies human meaning.
Into the vast uncertainty we call.
The echoes make our music,
sharp equations which can hold the stars,
and marvelous mythologies we trust.
This may be all we need
to lift our love against indifference and pain.
Here in the space between us and each other
lies all the future
of the fragment of the universe
which is our own.
 

Friendship by Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849)
When we were idlers with the loitering rills,
The need of human love we little noted:
Our love was nature; and the peace that floated
On the white mist,
And dwelt upon the hills,
To sweet accord subdued our wayward wills:
One soul was ours, one mind, one heart devoted,
That, wisely doting, ask’d not why it doted,
And ours the unknown joy, which knowing kills.
But now I find how dear thou wert to me;
That man is more than half of nature’s treasure,
Of that fair beauty which no eye can see,
Of that sweet music which no ear can measure;
And now the streams may sing for others’ pleasure,
The hills sleep on in their eternity

 by Anthony Powell Davies
When two individuals meet, so do two private worlds.  None of our private worlds is big enough for us to live a wholesome life in.  We need the wider world of joy and wonder, of purpose and venture, of toil and tears.  What are we, any of us, but strangers and sojourners, wandering through the nighttime until we draw together and find the meaning of our lives in one another, dissolving our fears in each other’s courage, making music together and lighting torches to guide us through the dark?


 -
from Captain Corelli’s mandolin, Louis de Bernieres.
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 blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

Love’s Philosophy, Percy Bysshe Shelley
The fountains mingle with the rivers

And the rivers with the oceans,
The winds of heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother,
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not m
e

(He wishes for the cloths of heaven) by William Butler Yeats
Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams

 Copyright, Mary Beaty Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

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