My Wedding Marquee

85 of the Best Wedding Readings for Every Kind of Couple

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Our top selections of the most nuanced wedding readings will help you find the ideal wedding reading for your special day. Browse through various themes, including funny and emotional, as well as religious and nonreligious!

Wedding Readings for Every Kind of Couple
Wedding Readings for Every Kind of Couple

While the traditional wedding reading from 1 Corinthians 13 is a beautiful and classic choice, many other options may be more suitable for your unique relationship. If you’re looking for something shorter, consider “I carry your heart with me.” For a reading that is both funny and relatable, try David Sedaris’ “If You Loved Me, You’d Clean This Car.” And if you want something that celebrates your differences, look no further than Maya Angelou’s “A Wedding Prayer.” No matter what you choose, make sure it reflects your relationship and the type of marriage you hope to have.

Contents

85 Wedding Readings for Every Kind of Couple

Popular Wedding Readings

One of the most important aspects of a wedding ceremony is the readings. These readings can come from a variety of sources, but they all serve to capture the essence of love and commitment. Some of the most popular wedding readings come from classic literature, such as Shakespeare’s sonnets or Romeo and Juliet. Others come from more modern works, like Ingrid Bergman’s famous quote from Casablanca. No matter the source, these readings will surely add a touch of romance to any wedding ceremony. Here are some of the most popular wedding readings:

Popular Wedding Readings
Popular Wedding Readings

Sonnet 116 – William Shakespeare

Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove. / O no! it is an ever-fixed mark / That looks on tempests and is never shaken; / It is the star to every wand’ring bark, / Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. / Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks / Within his bending sickle’s compass come: / Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, / But bears it out even to the edge of doom. / If this be error and upon me proven, / I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare

“O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? / Deny thy father and refuse thy name; / Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. … What’s in a name? that which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet;/ So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d./ Retain that dear perfection which he owes/ Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name; … What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man.”

Casablanca – Ingrid Bergman

“We’ll always have Paris./ We didn’t exactly leave things on a friendly note./ Maybe not our finest hour./ But then I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this sinful world./ You know how much I love you.”

Les Misérables – Victor Hugo

You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving. The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – 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 root was 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.

My First Love Story – Rumi

The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go! – 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!

(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!

So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!

Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.

A Lovely Love Story – Edward Monkton

The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.

Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.

The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.

“I like this Dinosaur,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. “Although he is fierce, he is also tender and he is funny. He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.”

“I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur,” thought the Dinosaur. “She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice. She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.”

“But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. “He is also overly fond of things. Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?”

“But her mind skips from here to there so quickly,” thought the Dinosaur. “She is also uncommonly keen on shopping. Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?”

“I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things,” thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur, “for they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.”

“I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping,” thought the Dinosaur, “for she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.”

Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old. Look at them. Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.

And that, my friends, is how it is with love.

Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together. For the sun is warm. And the world is a beautiful place.

The Art of Marriage – Wilfred A Peterson

A good marriage must be created.

In the marriage, the little things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once each day,

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is having a mutual sense of values and objectives.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each person can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person

It is being the right partner.

"Untitled" - Christina Rossetti
“Untitled” – Christina Rossetti

“Untitled” – Christina Rossetti

What is the beginning? Love. What the course. Love still. What the goal. The goal is Love. On a happy hill Is there nothing then but Love? Search we sky or earth There is nothing out of Love Hath perpetual worth; All things flag but only Love, All things fail and flee; There is nothing left but Love Worthy you and me.

“Buried Light” – Beau Taplin

Home is not where

you are from

it is where

you belong.

Some of us

travel the whole

world to find it.

Others,

find it in a person.

Love’s Philosophy – Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river,

And the rivers with the ocean;

The winds of heaven mix forever

With a sweet emotion;

Nothing in the world is single:

All things by a law divine

In another’s being mingle—

Why not I with thine?

See, the mountains kiss high heaven,

And the waves clasp one another;

No sister flower could be forgiven

If it disdained its brother;

And the sunlight clasps the earth,

And the moonbeams kiss the sea;

What are all these kissings worth,

If thou kiss not me?

How Do I Love Thee – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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 every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love 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.

The Art of Marriage (2) – Wilferd A. Peterson

The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted;

the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,

it should continue through all the years.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating

gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.

It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

Apache Marriage Blessing – Anon

Now you will feel no rain,

for each of you will be shelter for the other.

Now you will feel no cold,

for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there will be no loneliness,

for each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two persons,

But there is only one life before you.

May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.

May happiness be your companion to the place where the river meets the sun.

And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

The House at Pooh Corner – A.A. Milne

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.

“Yes, Piglet?”

“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?” asked Piglet.

“Even longer,” Pooh answered. “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”

The Beauty of Love – Anon

The question is asked: “Is there anything more beautiful in life than a young couple clasping hands and pure hearts in the path of marriage? Can there be anything more beautiful than young love?”

And the answer is given: “Yes, there is a more beautiful thing.

“It is the spectacle of an old man and an old woman finishing their journey together on that path. Their hands are gnarled but still clasped; their faces are seamed but still radiant; their hearts are physically bowed and tired but still strong with love and devotion. Yes, there is a more beautiful thing than young love. Old love.”

Modern Wedding Readings

Among the classics, there are many contemporary wedding readings. These are more unusual and won’t be heard at every wedding. Modern readings can be found among today’s best sellers, film quotations, songs, and other material; we have a lot of wedding readings from books here.

Modern Wedding Readings
Modern Wedding Readings

Love Is Friendship Caught Fire – Laura Hendricks

Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times.

It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past.

It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack.

If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.

The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman

I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again… I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you… we’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams… and when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight…

Gift of the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

When you love someone; you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is 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. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits — islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

The Journals of Sylvia Plath – Sylvia Plath

I feel good with my husband: I like his warmth and his bigness and his being-there and his making and his jokes and stories and what he reads and how he likes fishing and walks and pigs and foxes and little animals and is honest and not vain or fame-crazy and how he shows his gladness for what I cook him and joy for when I make him something, a poem or a cake, and how he is troubled when I am unhappy and wants to do anything so I can fight out my soul-battles and grow up with courage and a philosophical ease. I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body-shop to do just that. What is only pieces, doled out here and there to this boy and that boy, that made me like pieces of them, is all jammed together in my husband. So I don’t want to look around anymore: I don’t need to look around for anything.

The Kindly Ones – Neil Gaiman

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defences, you build up a whole suit of armour, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life … You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you.

Maybe – Anon

Maybe we are supposed to meet the wrong people before we meet the right

one so when they finally arrive we are truly grateful for the gift we have been

given.

Maybe it’s true that we don’t know what we have lost until we lose it but it is

also true that we don’t know what we’re missing until it arrives.

Maybe the happiest of people don’t have the best of everything, but make the

best of everything that comes their way.

Maybe the best kind of love is the kind where you sit on the sofa together, not

saying a word, and walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever

had.

Maybe once in a lifetime you find someone who not only touches your heart but

also your soul, someone who loves you for who you are and not what you could

be.

Maybe the art of true love is not about finding the perfect person, but about

seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

One Day – David Nicholls

‘What are you going to do with your life?’ In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer… ‘Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.

Relativity – Albert Einstein

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.

Love – Bob Marley

She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together – but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold on to her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyse and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.

Still Life With Woodpecker – Tom Robbins

Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. Most of us can do is sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words “make” and “stay” become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.

The Bridge Across Forever – Richard Bach

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.

Non-Religious Weddings Readings

There are several fantastic religious wedding readings available, but there are also a lot where religion isn’t mentioned. These non-religious wedding readings include everything from Friends quotations and Sex and the City poems to heartfelt poems and a Shakespeare, demonstrating that wedding readings don’t have to be religious in order to be effective.

Wild Awake – 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 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.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – Tim Burton

My dearest friend, if you don’t mind

I’d like to join you by your side

Where we can gaze into the stars

And sit together, now and forever

For it is plain as anyone can see

We’re simply meant to be.

Carrie’s Poem – Sex and the City

His hello was the end of her endings

Her laugh was their first step down the aisle

His hand would be hers to hold forever

His forever was as simple as her smile

He said she was what was missing

She said instantly she knew

She was a question to be answered

And his answer was “I do”

Sonnet 18 – William Shakespeare

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,

Not lose possession of that fair thou owest;

Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou growest;

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long as lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Just Kids – Patti Smith

“Where does it all lead? What will become of us? 

These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. 

It leads to each other. We become ourselves… 

“What will happen to us?” I asked. “There will always be us,” he answered.

A Vow – Wendy Cope

I cannot promise never to be angry;

I cannot promise always to be kind.

You know what you’re taking on, my darling

It’s only at the start that love is blind.

And yet I’m still the one you want to be with

And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure.

You’re my closest friend, my favourite person,

The lover and the home I’ve waited for.

I cannot promise that I will deserve you

From this day on. I hope to pass that test.

I love you, and I want to make you happy.

I promise I will do my very best.

The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who’s ever lived: I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough.

The Ent and The Ent Wife – Lord of The Rings, J.R.R Tolkien

When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last;

When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past;

I’ll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again:

Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain!

Together we will take the road that leads into the West,

And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.

Monica from Friends

For so long I wondered if I would ever find my prince, my soulmate. Then three years ago, at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort. And instead, I found everything that I’d ever been looking for my whole life. And now here we are with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soulmate, my friend.

Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer

I love you also means I love you more than anyone loves you,

or has loved you, or will love you, and also,

I love you in a way that no one loves you,

or has loved you, or will love you, and also,

I love you in a way that I love no one else,

and never have loved anyone else,

and never will love anyone else.

Blue-Eyed Devil – Lisa Kleypas

I no longer believed in the idea of soulmates, or love at first sight. But I was beginning to believe that a very few times in your life, if you were lucky, you might meet someone who was exactly right for you. Not because he was perfect, or because you were, but because your combined flaws were arranged in a way that allowed two separate beings to hinge together.

On Love – Thomas à Kempis

Love is a mighty power,

a great and complete good.

Love alone lightens every burden, and makes rough places smooth.

It bears every hardship as though it were nothing, and renders

all bitterness sweet and acceptable.

Nothing is sweeter than love,

Nothing stronger,

Nothing higher,

Nothing wider,

Nothing more pleasant,

Nothing fuller or better in heaven or earth; for love is born of God.

Love flies, runs and leaps for joy.

It is free and unrestrained.

Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds.

Love feels no burden, takes no account of toil,

attempts things beyond its strength.

Love sees nothing as impossible,

for it feels able to achieve all things.

It is strange and effective,

while those who lack love faint and fail.

Love is not fickle and sentimental,

nor is it intent on vanities.

Like a living flame and a burning torch,

it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.

 “From Beginning to End” by Robert Fulghum “

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

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 centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you—and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.

From Beginning to End – Robert Fulghum

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another—acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this—is my husband, this—is my wife.

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – 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 breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. 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.

Union – Robert Fulghum

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way.

All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with

“I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late-night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.

All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”

Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.

For after today you shall say to the world –

This is my husband. This is my wife.

Traditional Wedding Readings

If you’re searching for a timeless wedding reading, these classic wedding readings are perfect. Some guests may have heard these classics before, while others will be hearing them for the first time. The Velveteen Rabbit is a wonderful children’s book to have one of your relatives read – we guarantee there won’t be any dry eyes!

Traditional Wedding Readings
Traditional Wedding Readings

‘De Imitatio Christi’ – Thomas à Kempis

Love often knows no limits but overflows all bounds. Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of troubles, attempts more than it is able, and does not plead impossibility because it believes that it may and can do all things. For this reason, it is able to do all, performing and effecting much where he who does not love fails and falls.

Love is watchful. Sleeping, it does not slumber. Wearied, it is not tired. Pressed, it is not straitened. Alarmed, it is not confused, but like a living flame, a burning torch, it forces its way upward and passes unharmed through every obstacle.

Never Marry but for Love – William Penn

Never marry but for love; but see that thou lovest what is lovely. He that minds a body and not a soul has not the better part of that relationship, and will consequently lack the noblest comfort of a married life.

Between a man and his wife, nothing ought to rule but love. As love ought to bring them together, so it is the best way to keep them well together.

A husband and wife that love one another show their children that they should do so too. Others visibly lose their authority in their families by the contempt of one another, and teach their children to be unnatural by their own examples.

Let not enjoyment lessen, but augment, affection; it being the basest of passions to like when we have not, what we slight when we possess.

Here it is we ought to search out our pleasure, where the field is large and full of variety, and of an enduring nature; sickness, poverty or disgrace being not able to shake it because it is not under the moving influences of worldly contingencies.

Nothing can be more entire and without reserve; nothing more zealous, affectionate and sincere; nothing more contented than such a couple, nor greater temporal felicity than to be one of them.

The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nanna came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Plato’s Symposium – Plato

Humans have never understood the power of Love, for if they had they would surely have built noble temples and altars and offered solemn sacrifices; but this is not done, and most certainly ought to be done, since Love 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, but different. Human beings each had two sets of arms, two sets of legs, and two faces looking in opposite directions. There were three sexes then: one comprised of two men called the children of the Sun, one made of two women called the children of the Earth, and a third made of a man and a woman, called the children of the Moon. Due to the power and might of these original humans, the Gods began to fear that their reign might be threatened. They sought for a way to end the humans’ insolence without destroying them.

It was at this point that Zeus divided the humans in half. After the division the two parts of each desiring their other half, came together, and throwing their arms about one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one. So ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of humankind.

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. Those whose original nature lies with the children of the Sun are men drawn to other men, those from the Earth are women who love other women, and those from the children of the Moon are men and women drawn to one another. And when one of us meets our other half, we are lost in an amazement of love, friendship and intimacy and would not be out of the other’s sight even for a moment. 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.

Irish Blessing

May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.

May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase.

May the saddest day of your future

Be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

May your hands be forever clasped in friendship

And your hearts joined forever in love.

Your lives are very special,

God has touched you in many ways.

May his blessings rest upon you

And fill all your coming days.

Love Is a Great Thing – Thomas à Kempis

Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good. By itself it makes that is heavy light; and it bears evenly all that is uneven.

It carries a burden which is no burden; it will not be kept back by anything low and mean; it desires to be free from all wordly affections, and not to be entangled by any outward prosperity, or by any adversity subdued.

Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility. It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where he who does not love would faint and lie down.

Though weary, it is not tired; though pressed it is not straitened; though alarmed, it is not confounded; but as a living flame it forces itself upwards and securely passes through all.

Love is active and sincere, courageous, patient, faithful, prudent and manly.

Blessing for a Marriage – James Billet 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 find it making one another happy.

May you have love,

and may you find it loving one another.

Romantic Wedding Readings

Choose a lovely reading that reflects your love and romance on your wedding day. If either of you enjoys reading, it’s an excellent place to start looking for a meaningful book. For a romantic wedding reading, read the lyrics to a song with huge significance to both of you.

Romantic Wedding Readings
Romantic Wedding Readings

Ancient Hawaiian Marriage Prayer – Anon

Before we met, you and I were halves unjoined except in the wide rivers of our minds. We were each other’s distant shore, the opposite wings of a bird, the other half of a seashell. We did not know the other then, did not know our determination to keep alive the cry of one riverbank to the other. We were apart, yet connected in our ignorance of each other, like two apples sharing a common tree. Remember?

I knew you existed long before you understood my desire to join my freedom to yours. Our paths collided long enough for our indecision to be swallowed up by the greater need of love. When you came to me, the sun surged towards the earth and moon escaped from darkness to bless the union of two spirits, so alike that the creator had designed them for life’s endless circle.

Beloved partner, keeper of my heart’s odd secrets, clothed in summer blossoms so the icy hand of winter never touches us. I thank your patience. Our joining is like a tree to earth, a cloud to sky and even more. We are the reason the world can laugh on its battlefields and rise from the ashes of its selfishness to hear me say, in this time, this place, this way – I loved you best of all.

Quote from William Butler Yeats

I think a man and woman should choose each other for life, because a long life with all its accidents is barely enough time for a man and woman to understand each other. And to understand is to love.

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

At night, there was the feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke, the other woke too so one was not alone.

Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.

True Friendship – Judy Bielicki

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.

Bride and Groom came together as friends. Today, they pledge to

each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly,

the fun of true friendship.

The Road – Cormac McCarthy

Lying under such a myriad of stars.

The sea’s black horizon.

He rose, walked out, stood barefoot in the sand, and watched the pale surf appear down the shore and roll, crash, and darken again.

When he went back to the fire he knelt and smoothed her hair as she slept and he said if he were God he would have made the world just so and no different.

Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak

Oh, what a love it was, utterly free, unique, like nothing else on earth! Their thoughts were like other people’s songs.

They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the ‘blaze of passion’ often falsely ascribed to love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet. Perhaps their surrounding world, the strangers they met in the street, the wide expanses they saw on their walks, the rooms in which they lived or met, took more delight in their love than they themselves did.

I Will Be Here – Steven Curtis Chapman

Tomorrow morning if you wake up,

And the sun does not appear

I, I will be here.

If in the dark we lose sight of love,

Hold my hand, and have no fear

Cause I, I will be here.

I will be here when you feel like being quiet

When you need to speak your mind,

I will listen and

I will be here when the laughter turns to cryin’

Through the winning, losing and tryin’

We’ll be together ’cause I will be here.

Tomorrow morning if you wake up,

And the future is unclear

I, I will be here.

As sure as seasons are made for change,

Our lifetime’s are made for years

So, I, I will be here.

I will be here and you can cry on my shoulder,

When the mirror tells us we’re older,

I will hold you and

I will be here to watch you grow in beauty

And tell you all the things you are to me

I will be here.

I will be true to the promise I have made

To you and to the One who gave you to me

I, I will be here.

Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney

Little Nutbrown Hare, who was going to bed, held on tight to Big Nutbrown Hare’s very long ears. He wanted to be sure that Big Nutbrown Hare was listening.

“Guess how much I love you,” he said.

“Oh, I don’t think I could guess that,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.

“This much,” said Little Nutbrown Hare, stretching out his arms as wide as they could go.

Big Nutbrown Hare had even longer arms. “But I love YOU this much,” he said.

Hmm, that is a lot, thought Little Nutbrown Hare.

“I love you as high as I can reach.” said Little Nutbrown Hare.

“I love you as high as I can reach,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.

That is quite high, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I had arms like that.

Then Little Nutbrown Hare had a good idea. He tumbled upside down and reached up the tree trunk with his feet.

“I love you all the way up to my toes!” he said.

“And I love you all the way up to your toes,” said Big Nutbrown Hare, swinging him up over his head.

“I love you as high as I can HOP!” laughed Little Nutbrown Hare, bouncing up and down.

“But I love you as high as I can hop,” smiled Big Nutbrown Hare – and he hopped so high that his ears touched the branches above.

That’s good hopping, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I could hop like that.

“I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river,” cried Little Nutbrown Hare.

“I love you across the river and over the hills,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.

That’s very far, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. He was almost too sleepy to think any more. Then he looked beyond the thorn bushes, out into the big dark night. Nothing could be further than the sky.

“I love you right up to the MOON,” he said, and closed his eyes.

“Oh, that’s far,” said Big Nutbrown Hare. “That is very, very far.”

Big Nutbrown Hare settled Little Nutbrown Hare into his bed of leaves. He leaned over and kissed him good night.

Then he lay down close by and whispered with a smile, “I love you right up to the moon – AND BACK.”

The Secret Garden – Francis Hodgson Burnett

One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever.

One knows it sometimes when one gets up at the tender solemn dawn-time and goes out and stands alone and throws one’s head far back and looks up and up and watches the pale sky slowly changing and flushing and marvellous unknown things happening until the East almost makes one cry out and one’s heart stands still at the strange unchanging majesty of the rising of the sun—which has been happening every morning for thousands and thousands of years.

One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting though and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eye.

Bible Readings for Weddings

With one of these lovely Bible readings about love, you may express your faith. Each one is perfect for a church wedding and demonstrates your love, faith, and commitment to one another as well as God. 1 Corinthians 13 is an excellent example of love that has stood the test of time and is still popular among Hitched readers.

Bible Readings for Weddings
Bible Readings for Weddings

Colossians 3:12-17

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Romans 8:31-35, 37-39

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6,7

My beloved speaks and says to me:

‘Arise, my love, my fair one,

and come away;

for now the winter is past,

the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth;

the time of singing has come,

and the voice of the turtle dove

is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth its figs,

and the vines are in blossom;

they give forth fragrance.

Arise, my love, my fair one,

and come away.’

Set me as a seal upon your heart,

as a seal upon your arm;

for love is strong as death,

passion fierce as the grave.

Its flashes are flashes of fire,

a raging flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,

neither can floods drown it.

If one offered for love

all the wealth of one’s house,

it would be utterly scorned.

Psalm 67

God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face to shine upon us,

That your way may be known upon earth,

your saving power among all nations.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

O let the nations rejoice and be glad,

for you will judge the peoples righteously

and govern the nations upon earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let all the peoples praise you.

Then shall the earth bring forth her increase,

and God, our own God, will bless us.

God will bless us,

and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.

1 John 4:7-12

 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Tobit 8:4-8

When the parents had gone out and shut the door of the room, Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, ‘Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety.’ So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying,

‘Blessed are you, O God of our ancestors,

and blessed is your name in all generations for ever.

Let the heavens and the whole creation bless you for ever.

You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve

as a helper and support.

From the two of them the human race has sprung.

You said, “It is not good that the man should be alone;

let us make a helper for him like himself.”

I now am taking this kinswoman of mine,

not because of lust,

but with sincerity.

Grant that she and I may find mercy

and that we may grow old together.’

And they both said, ‘Amen, amen.’

Romans 7:1, 2, 9-18

Do you not know, brothers and sisters – for I am speaking to those who know the law – that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband.

I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died, and the very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it.

1 John 3:18-24

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him.

And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Genesis 1:26-28

Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’

So God created humankind in his image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’

John 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.’

Romans 12:1,2, 9-13

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Romans 15:1-3, 5-7, 13

We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbour for the good purpose of building up the neighbour. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Mark 10:6-9, 13-16

Jesus said, ‘From the beginning of creation, “God made them male and female.” “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’ And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

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 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.

The word of the Lord.

Ephesians 3:14-20

I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 5:21-33

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Saviour. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendour, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind – yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body.

‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’

This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills

from where is my help to come?

My help comes from the Lord

the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not suffer your foot to stumble,

he who watches over you will not sleep.

Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel

shall neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord himself watches over you,

the Lord is your shade at your right hand.

So that the sun shall not strike you by day

neither the moon by night.

The Lord shall keep you from all evil,

it is he who shall keep your soul.

The Lord shall keep watch over your going out

and your coming in,

from this time forth for evermore.

1 John 4:7-12

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Matthew 5:1-10

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.

Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour 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.

Ephesians 5:25-33

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.

Genesis 2:18–25

Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ … So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

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