Selecting Your Readings
Hello Lovely People!
There are so many parts of a wedding ceremony - processionals, recessionals, the kiss, the vows, crying, laughing and moments that we can incorporate our closest friends and family, like readings! Now, readings aren't for everyone, they are completely optional. At my wedding (#whosthatgirl?it'semma) we didn’t do any readings, just had our pastor speak! Some people may not identify as religious and feel like a biblical reading just doesn't fit their vibe. Others may only want a biblical passage! Like we always say... you do you! If you are stuck on the reading aspect of your ceremony, we are here to help! We realize there are many different faith bases with many different approaches to content during the ceremony, today we will mention some of our favorite New International Bible Verses as well as our non-religious literary passages!
Christian Ceremonies: Biblical Verses
1 Corinthians 13:4-13
This verse is a wedding ‘classic’ encompassing love and loving one another, many people interpret this as being in love with another person. A good choice for a couple looking to add a traditional aspect to their wedding.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part’ then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 John 4:16-19
This verse speaks about love in general, not just love in a marriage.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.
This verse speaks to the congregation as a whole; a picture of how all people should live in faith.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which blinds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name or the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Non Religious Ceremonies: Literary Passages
Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith
"People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves."
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
"No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater … The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that’s the key. It’s like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot."
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
"Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches… I have stayed these years in my hovel because of you. I have taught myself languages because of you. I have made my body strong because I thought you might be pleased by a strong body. I have lived my life with only the prayer that some sudden dawn you might glance in my direction. I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids…
I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you. Spell it out, should I? I ell-oh-vee-ee why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I."
"Why Marriage" by Dena Acolatse
Because of the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body.
Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me.
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night,
With someone who is thankful for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold.
Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship.
Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements.
Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole.
Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage.
Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless
and our love will last forever.
Did we miss one of your favorite readings? Let us know if you have any favorites in the comments below!
Emma and Kaitlynn