wedding doves
A Wedding in ParadiseTM
 
Elements of the Wedding Ceremony

SELECTED READINGS


#1

How do I love thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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#2

Those that Truly Love

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like a volcano and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become 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 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. 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.

-Louis de Bernieres, Corelli's Mandolin

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#3

From The Prophet

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must need have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise on your lips.

-Kahlil Gibran

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#4

From The Strength to Love

The meaning of love is not to be confused with some sentimental outpouring. Love is something much more than emotional bosh .... An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return, [agape] is the love of God operating in the human heart .... Love is the most durable power in the world. This creative force, so beautifully exemplified in the life of our Christ, is the most potent instrument available in humankind's quest for peace and security. The great military leaders of the past have gone, and their empires have crumbled and burned to ashes. But the empire of Jesus, built solidly and majestically on the foundation of love, is still growing.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

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#5

From Gift from the Sea

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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#6

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The shepherds' swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

-Christopher Marlowe

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#7

My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose

0' my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
0' my luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my Dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my Dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my Dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

-Robert Burns

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#8

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall death brag thou wand'rest in his shade
Which in eternal lines to time thou grow'st
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

-William Shakespeare

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#9

I Love You This Much

I love you this much.

Enough to do anything for you, give my life, my love, my heart and my soul to you and for you.

Enough to willingly give all of my time, efforts, thoughts, talents, trust and prayers to you.

Enough to want to protect you, care for you, guide you, hold you, comfort you, listen to you and cry to you and with you.

Enough to be completely comfortable with you, act silly around you, never have to hide anything from you and be myself with you.

I love you enough to share all of my sentiments, dreams, goals, fears, hopes and worries, my entire life with you.

Enough to want the best for you, to wish for your successes and to hope for the fulfilment of all your endeavors.

Enough to keep my promises to you and pledge my loyalty and faithfulness to you.

Enough to cherish your friendship, adore your personality, respect your values and see you for who you are.

I love you enough to fight for you, compromise for you and sacrifice myself for you if need be.

Enough to miss you incredibly when we're apart, no matter what length of time.

Enough to believe in our relationship, to stand by it through the worst of times, to have faith in our strength as a couple and to never give up on us.

Enough to spend the rest of my life with you, be there for you when you need or want me and never, ever want to leave you or live without you.

I love you this much.

-author unknown

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#10

The Key to Love

The key to love is understanding ...

the ability to comprehend not only the spoken word, but those unspoken gestures, the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness ...

to accept each other's faults and pardon mistakes, without forgetting, but with remembering what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing ...

facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together; both conquering problems, forever searching for ways to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving ...

without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect ...

realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don't belong to each other, that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all ...

It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work ... but the rewards are more than worth the effort ...

and that is the key to love.

-Unknown


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#11

Why Marriage?

Because to 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 thanks God 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.

-Unknown


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#12

Blessing for a Marriage
By James Dillet Freeman


May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements
a marriage should bring,
and may life grant you also patience, tolerance and
understanding.
May you always need one another
not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know
your fullness.
A mountain needs a valley to be complete;
the valley does not make the mountain less, but more;
and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain
towering over it.
So let it be with you and you.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness.
May you want one another, but not out of lack.
May you entice one another, but not compel one another.
May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another.
May you succeed in all important ways with one another,
and not fail in the little graces.
May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you!"
and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take
the first step back.
May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of
one another's presence
no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you
are side by side,
and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even
distant cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one
another happy.
May you have love, and may you find it loving one another!
Thank You, God,
for Your presence here with us
and Your blessing on this marriage.
Amen.

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#13

Oh! The Places You'll Go!

by the incomparable Dr. Seuss


Congratulations! Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets.
Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say,
"I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains
and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down
a not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!
You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So ... get on your way!

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#14
i carry your heart with me
By E. E. Cummings 1894-1962

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)

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#15
On Your Wedding Day

Today is a day you will always remember,
The greatest in anyone’s life.
You’ll start off the day just two people in love
And end it as Husband and Wife.

It’s a brand new beginning, the start of a journey,
With moments to cherish and treasure.
And although there’ll be time when you both disagree
These will surely be outweighed by pleasure.

You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past,
When the secrets of marriage were spoken,
But you know that the answers lie hidden inside,
Where the bond of true love lies unbroken.

So live happy forever as lovers and friends.
It’s the dawn of a new life for you.
As you stand there together with love in your eyes
From the moment you whisper ‘I do’

And with luck, all your hopes, and your dreams can be real.
May success find its way to your hearts.
Tomorrow can bring you the greatest of joys,
But today is the day it all starts.

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#16
Foundations of Marriage
Regina Hill

Love, trust, and forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome everything...

In marriage, all of the moments won't be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together. Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything together during even the worst and most insecure moments.

Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together. It's inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not giving up... even when all the odds say to quit. It's allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or thoughts aren't in total agreement or exactly what you'd like them to be.

It's getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available, the way any best friend should be. Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of sharing, caring, and loving throughout life: love, trust, and forgiveness.

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#17
MY PROMISE OF LOVE TO YOU

I promise to give to you the best of myself,
And ask of you no more than you can give.
I promise to accept you the way you are
And I won't try to reshape you in a different image.

I promise to respect you as a person,
with your own interests, desires, and needs
And realize that those are sometimes different
but no less important than my own.

I promise to share with you my time, my close attention,
And to bring joy and strength with imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you
to let you see through the window of my interpersonal world,
into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets, and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you
And be willing to change as we both change
in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.

And finally...
I promise to love you in good and in bad
with all I feel inside in the only way I know how...
completely and forever.

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#18
HOW FALLING IN LOVE IS LIKE OWNING A DOG

First of all, it's a big responsibility,
especially in a city...
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you're walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain't no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?
On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.
Love doesn't like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.
Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.
Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don't you ever do that again!
Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless.
Pull you in different directions at once,
or wind itself around and around you
until you're all wound up and you cannot move.
But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.
Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

--- Taylor Mali

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