Friday, August 22, 2008

Wedding Readings from Literature, Movies, Opera

Friendship – Author Unknown

It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round.However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel.True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life –it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship,it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic.True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential.This couple came together as friends, they pledge to each other not only their love but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship.

“On Marriage,” from The Prophet by Kahil Gibran

You were born to be together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in your silent memory.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not bondage 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 other of your bread, but eat not of the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each 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.

From Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom

There are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage:
If you don’t respect the other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble.
If you don’t know how to compromise, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble.
If you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble.
And if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble.
Your values must be alike. And the biggest one of those values? Your belief in the importance of your marriage.
Love each other or perish.

From Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by 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 breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises 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.

May your roots grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms fall from your branches, you find out that you are one tree, and not two.

Eugene Kennedy writes,

“The real test of friendship is; can you literally do nothing with the other person. Can you enjoy together those moments of life that are utterly simple?
They are the moments most people look back on at the end of life and number as their most sacred experiences.”

From Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne

A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

In One Another’s Souls by Rumi – (1207-1273)

The moment I heard my first love story I began seeking you,
not realizing the search was useless.
Lovers don’t meet somewhere along the way.
They’re in one another’s souls from the beginning.

From Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke.

For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person—it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distance…

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distance exists, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of seeing each other as a whole before an immense sky.

From Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules. The partners do not need to hold on tightly, because they move confidently in the same pattern, intricate but gay and swift and free, like a country dance of Mozart’s. To touch heavily would be to arrest the pattern and freeze the movement, to check the endless changing beauty of its unfolding. There is no place here for the possessive clutch, the clinging arm, the heavy hand; only the barest touch in passing. Now arm in arm, now face to face, now back to back—it does not matter which. Because they know they are partners moving to the same rhythm, creating a pattern together, and being invisibly nourished by it.

From “The Oyster Bed,” Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Love does not consist of gazing at each other (one perfect sunrise gazing at another) but in looking outward together in the same direction. For, in fact man and woman are not only looking outward in the same direction; they are working outward. Here one forms ties, roots, a firm base. Here one makes oneself part of the community of men, of human society. And here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow growing devotion and playing these through, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.



Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love by Edmund O’Neill

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 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 life.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.

From When Harry Met Sally by Nora Ephron

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

From The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery

"Nothing is perfect," sighed the fox.

But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life.
I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others.
Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground.
Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow.
And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder?
These wheat fields have nothing to say to me.
And that is sad.
But you have hair that is the color of gold.
Think how wonderful that will be, when you have tamed me!
The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you.

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
"Please-tame me!" he said.
"I want to, very much," the little prince replied.
--
"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince.
"You must be very patient," replied the fox.
"First you will sit down at a little distance from me - like that - in the grass.
I shall look at you out of the comer of my eye,
and you will say nothing.
Words are the source of misunderstandings.
But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . .
--
The next day the little prince came back.
"It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox.
"If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon,
then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy.
I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances.
At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about.
But if you come at just any time, I shall never know
at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you .


From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self—my good angel—I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.

From The Symposium by Plato

(This is a potent weaving of western mythology on the subject of the heart’s longing for it’s soul mate. )

Humans have never understood the power of Love. It 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. Each being was a fusion of genders, sharing equally in male and female. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought a way to diminish the humans’ strength without destroying them. It was at this point that the humans were divided in half.

Each of us when separated, having one side only, is but the indenture of a person, and we are always looking for our other half. 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. No one could imagine this to be the mere amorous connection: obviously the soul of each is wishing for something else that it cannot express. 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. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called Love.


From La Traviatta by Verde

In Verde’s classic opera La Traviatta these powerful lyrics sing to us…“To that love which is the pulse of the universe!”

From Hamlet (written to Ophelia) by William Shakespeare

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love. From Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. Here All Seeking is Over

From La Vita Nuova, Dante

In that book which is My memory . . .
before which little can be read,
Appear the words
‘Incipit vita nova:
Here begins the new life.

From Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne

A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soul mate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soul mate is the one who makes life come to life.

Us Two by A.A. Milne

Wherever I am, there’s always Pooh,
There’s always Pooh and Me.
“What would I do?” I said to Pooh,
“If it wasn’t for,” and Poorh said: “True,
It isn’t much fon for One, but Two
Can stick together, says Pooh, says he.
“That’s how it is,” says Pooh, says he.
“That’s how it is,” says Pooh.

The Siddur of Shir Chadash from the Jewish Prayerbook

May the door of your home be wide enough
to receive all who hunger for love
and all who are lonely for friendship.
May it welcome all who have cares to unburden,
thanks to express and hopes to nurture.
May the door of your house be narrow enough
to shut out pettiness and pride, envy and enmity.
May its threshold be no stumbling block
to young or old feet,
and may it be too high to admit complacency,
selfishness or harshness.
May your home be, for all who enter,
the doorway to richness and a more meaningful life.

The cool breeze ripples the river below,
And the fleecy clouds float high,
And I mark how the dark green gum-trees match
The bright blue vault of the sky.
The rain has been, and the grass is green
Where the slopes were bare and brown,
And I see the things that I used to see
In the days ere my head went down.

I have found a light in my long dark night,
Brighter than stars or moon;
I have lost the fear of the sunset drear,
And the sadness of afternoon.

Here let us stand while I hold your hand,
Where the light's on your golden head--
Oh! I feel the thrill that I used to feel
In the days ere my heart was dead.

The storm's gone by, but my lips are dry
And the old wrong rankles yet--
Sweetheart or wife, I must take new life
From your red lips warm and wet!
So let it be, you may cling to me,
There is nothing on earth so dread,
For I'll be the man that I used to be
In the days ere my heart was dead!

From A Bridge Across Forever, Richard Bach

You that love Lovers
This is your home. Welcome!

In the midst of making form, Love
Made this form that melts form,
With love for the door, and
Soul, the vestibule.

Watch the dust grains moving
In the light near the window.

Their dance is our dance.

We rarely hear the inner music,
But we’re dancing to it nevertheless.

Directed by what teaches us,
The pure joy of the sun,
Our music master.


The Promise, by Heather Berry

Within this blessed union of souls, where two hearts intertwine to become one, there lies a promise. Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared, it is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside. Where all things are made possible by the astounding love shared by two spirits. As you hold each other’s hands in this promise, and eagerly look into the future in each other’s eyes, may your unconditional love and devotion take you to places where you’ve both only dreamed. Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness, sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms”From Adam Bede by George Eliot: What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent, unspeakable memories,at the moment of the last parting.

From The Irrational Season by Madeleine L'Engle

But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk theyare willing to take…It is indeed a fearfulgamble…Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created,so that, together we become a new creature.To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected.---

By Theodore Parker

It takes years to marry completely two hearts, even the most loving and well assorted. A happy wedlock is a falling in love. Young persons think love belongs to the brow-haired and crimson cheeked. So it does for its beginning. But the golden marriage is part of love which the bridal day knows nothing of...Such a large and sweet fruit is marriage that is needs a long summer to ripen, and then a long winter to mellow and season it.

4 comments:

Andrea and Arthur said...

This is very helpful! Thanks! Feel like we cannot find the "perfect" reading, though.

Katy said...

I think we just found our ceremony readings. Good thing, because it's in 2 weeks!

Thanks so much

Dancergirl said...

For anyone wishing to use the passage credited to A.A. Milne - Now We Are Six, it is actually from Richard Bach - Jonathan Livingston Seagull

amber said...

This is a good collection. I'm going to show my fiance "Now we are six" along with a few other ideas. I'm planning to borrow The Odyssey from the library because the idea of the long distance and waiting to be together fits our situation since he lives in England.