Top Five Readings to Incorporate in a Wedding Ceremony

As wedding celebrants, we are constantly asked what our favorite readings to include in our ceremonies. There are literally thousands of readings and they each impart a different tone or feeling. So picking one is a little like picking a favorite child, but these are (by far) my top five readings. But honestly in many of the ceremonies we perform, we include parts or pieces of one of these five readings.  

1. i carry your heart with me” by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

2. “An Apache Blessing” by Elliott Arnold

Now you will feel no storms,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness,
For each of you is companion to the other,
You are two persons,
But there is one life before you, and one home.
Turn together to look at the road you traveled,
To reach this—the hour of your happiness.
It stretches behind you into the past.
Look to the future that lies ahead.
A long and winding, adventure-filled road,
Whose every turn means discovery,
New hopes, new joys, new laughter, and a few shared tears.
May happiness be your companion,
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead;
And through all the years to come.
Go this day to your dwelling place
And enter into your days together.
May your days be good and long
Upon the earth.
Your adventure has just begun!

3. “That still and settled place” by Edward Monkton

In that still and settled place
There’s nobody but you
You’re where I breath my oxygen
You’re where I see my view
And when the world feels full of noise
My heart knows what to do
It finds that still and settled place
And dances there with you.

4. “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 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 or 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, 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.

5. “You Are the Earth” by Andrew Schneider

You are the earth.
I am the sky
We are sky and earth united….
You are my husband. You are my wife.
My feet shall run because of you.
My legs shall dance because of you.
My heart shall beat because of you.
My eyes see because of you.
My mind thinks because of you
And I shall love because of you.

What do you think? What are your favorite readings? Be sure to add your readings to the comment section. Who knows, maybe we will include them in a follow-up blog!


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