Religious Readings

Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol. And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And if I dole out all my goods, and if I deliver my body that I may boast but have not love, nothing I am profited. Love is long suffering, love is kind, it is not jealous, love does not boast, it is not inflated. It is not discourteous, it is not selfish, it is not irritable, it does not enumerate the evil. It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth It covers all things, it has faith for all things, it hopes in all things, it endures in all things. Love never falls in ruins; but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or tongues, they will cease; or knowledge, it will be superseded. For we know in part and we prophecy in part.

But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded. When I was an infant, I spoke as an infant, I reckoned as an infant; when I became [an adult], I abolished the things of the infant. For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know as also I was fully known. But now remains faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


The Prayer

~ By St. Francis of Assisi ~

Lord, make
us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, Grant that we 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.

Amen


The Seven Blessings

From “The New Jewish Wedding”
~ By Anita Diamant ~

“We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, expressing our appreciation
for this wine, symbol and aid of our rejoicing.

We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, realizing that each separate
moment and every distinct object points to and shares in this oneness.

We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, recognizing and appreciating
the blessing of being human.

We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, realizing the special gift of
awareness that permits us to perceive this unity and the wonder we experience as a man and a
woman joined to live together.

May rejoicing resound throughout the world as the homeless are given homes, persecution
and oppression cease, and all people learn to live in peace with each other and in harmony
with their environment.

From the Divine, source of all energy, we call forth an abundance of love to envelop this
couple. May they be for each other lovers and friends, and may their love partake of the same
innocence, purity, and sense of discovery that we imagine the first couple to have experienced.

We acknowledge the Unity of all within the sovereignty of God, and we highlight today joy
and gladness, bridegroom and bride, delight and cheer, love and harmony, peace and
companionship. May we all witness the day when the dominant sounds through the world will
be these sounds of happiness, the voices of lovers, the sounds of feasting and singing.

Praised is love; blessed be this marriage. May the bride and bridegroom rejoice together.”


Genesis 2:18-24

The Lord God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable
partner for him.”

So the Lord God formed out of the ground various wild animals and
various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call
them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave
names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none
proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the Lord God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took
out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into
a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man,
the man said:

“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
This one shall be called ‘woman,’
For out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of
them become one body.


Psalm 128:1-4

Blessed is every one that
feareth the Lord; that walketh
in his ways. For thou shalt eat
the labor of thine hands; happy
shalt thou be, and it shall be
well with thee. Thy wife shall
be as a fruitful vine by the sides
of thine house, thy children like
olive plants round about thy
table. Behold, that thus shall
the man be blessed that feareth
the Lord.


Perfect Love

~ Author Unknown ~

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone. To have a deep soul
relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God to the
Christian says, “No, not until you’re satisfied and fulfilled and content with living, loved by
Me alone and giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me, to have an intensely
personal and unique relationship with Me alone.

“I love you, My child, and until you discover that only in Me is your satisfaction to be
found, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for
you. You will never be united with another until you are united with Me — exclusive of
anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or belongings.

“I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to bring it to you. You just
keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things. Keep learning and listening to the things
I tell you. You must wait.

“Don’t be anxious and don’t worry. Don’t look around at the things you think you want.
Just keep looking off and away up to Me, or you’ll miss what I have to show you.

“And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any
you would ever dream. You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is
ready, I am working this minute to have both of you ready at the same time, and until you
are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I’ve prepared for you, you won’t be
able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me, and this is perfect
love.

“And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the
flesh a picture of your relationship with Me, and to enjoy materially and concretely the
everlasting union of beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with Myself. Know I
love you. I am God Almighty, believe and be satisfied.”


Wedding Prayer

~by Robert Louis Stevenson~

[Open bible during wedding ceremony] 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.

Amen


Ephesians

Submit yourselves one to another as the fear of God. Wives, show reverence for your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church and He is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own Husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wife, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkles or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own body; He that loves his wife loves himself.

For no man ever yet hateth his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is a profound one and I am saying this as it refers to Christ and the Church;
however, let husband love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respect her husband.


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their toil.  For if they fall,
one will lift up his fellow;  but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not
another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be
warm alone?   And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will
withstand him.


Colossians 3:12-14

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 whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.