non-Scriptural Texts

United yet Still Individuals

From The Prophet (1)
by Kahlil Gibran

Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
Together you shall be for evermore.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Desires of Love

From The Prophet (2)
by Kahlil Gibran

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs 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.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.

May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Hamlet

by William Shakespeare

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.

Prayer for a Marriage

a poem by Steve Scafidi

When we are old one night
and the moon arcs over the house like an antique China saucer
and the teacup sun follows somewhere far behind

I hope the stars deepen to a shine
so bright you could read by it if you liked
and the sadnesses we will have known go away for awhile
in this hour or two before sleep
and that we kiss standing in the kitchen not fighting
gravity so much as embodying its sweet force,
and I hope we kiss like we do today
knowing so much good is said in this primitive tongue

From the wild first surprising ones
to the lower dizzy ten thousand infinitely slower ones
and I hope while we stand there in the kitchen making tea and kissing,
the whistle of the teapot wakes the neighbors.

The Art of a Good Marriage

by Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created.
In 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 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 having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
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 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 person, it is being the right person.

Why Marriage?

Mari Nichols-Haining

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.

A Gift From the Sea

by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001)
Widow of aviator and conservationist Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.

“Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”* For, in fact man and woman are not only looking outward in the same direction; they are working outward. Here one forms ties, roots, a firm base. Here one makes oneself part of the community of men, of human society.

Here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm.

The web is fashioned of love. Yes, many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow—growing devotion and playing these through, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments.

It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by propinquity, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working outward in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.

*Quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)

I Promise

by Dorothy R. Colgan

I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.

I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realise that your interests, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.

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

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

I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.

I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how.
Completely and forever.

Prayer of Saint Francis

Francis of Assisi (1182-1226)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
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 I may seek not so much
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.

Walk With Me

by Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friendship is the Foundation for Love

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

All love that has not friendship for its base,
is like a mansion built upon sand.

A Good Marriage

by Pearl Buck (1892 - 1973)

A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth
in the individuals and in the way they express their love.