Nothing can express your thoughts more than words. On this your special day you will want the Ceremony to be the most important part of the day and the readings you choose will make this possible.
Readings offer the bride and groom a great way to personalise their ceremony and involve close friends and family in the proceedings.You don’t have to have a poem during your wedding ceremony but some couples might decide that they want to say something more than their vows and they can do that by reading a poem together, different to what a close family member would read.Nowadays people get married at very different stages in their lives and sometimes more than once so the following poems and readings are only meant as a suggestion of what you could have. When choosing your readers, choose carefully. A lot of people are very nervous of standing up and facing their family and friends, more so than in a room full of strangers. Let them have a copy of the readings in advance so that they can practice.
If you are the reader please make sure you know it well, practice and if it is a poem make sure you know the rhythm of each verse.
Speak slowly and clearly, pausing to take a deep breath if you find yourself getting nervous.
When you arrive at the Church make sure you know where you will be reading from. Make sure to speak up so that everyone can hear you.
From This Day Forward
From this day forward
You shall not walk alone.
My heart will be your shelter
And my arms will be your home.
True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.
Sir Philip Sidney (1554-86)
My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for another given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.
His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
I cherish his because in me it bides:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.
These I Can Promise
I cannot promise you a life of sunshine;
I cannot promise riches, wealth, or gold;
I cannot promise you an easy pathway
That leads away from change or growing old.
But I can promise all my heart's devotion;
A smile to chase away your tears of sorrow;
A love that's ever true and ever growing;
A hand to hold in yours through each tomorrow.
A True Friend
It is a fact that happy marriages result when the partners are also good friends.
But how do you define what a friend is?
Consider the moon
When full it is beautiful
But it is not always full:
It waxes and wanes.
Nor is it always there.
Frequently you will find that,
It is there when you don’t need it,
And not there when you do need it.
A true friend is not like the moon
Now consider the stars.
See how they stay with us right through the night,
Unfailing, untiring, undemanding,
Guiding, inspiring and watching over us.
The darker the night, the brighter they shine.
If sometimes they are not visible to us,
The fault is not theirs,
Clouds have got in their way.
But they are still there,
Straining to shine on us.
A true friend is like a star.
A true friend is a star.
Chinese Folk Ballad
I want to be your soul mate for all eternity
When the mountains are flat
And the rivers run dry
When the trees blossom in Winter
And the snow falls in summer
When the sky and the earth are one
Only then will we two be parted
I wrote your name in the sky
But the wind blew it away
I wrote your name in the sand
But the waves washed it away
I wrote your name in my heart
And forever it will stay
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.
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.
Today is the Day
Today is the day you will always remember
The greatest day of your 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 times when you both disagree
These will surely be outweighed by the pleasure.
You’ll have heard many words of advice in the past
When the secrets of Marriage were spoken
But you know 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 joy
But today is the day it all starts.
I Promise You
We will value our marriage as a commitment
and vocation to be developed and built up
and be faithful to each other through the ups and downs of life.
With God’s help we will enter into marriage as a partnership of equals,
in spirit and fairness,
always treating each other with honesty, trust and respect.
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 a person with your own needs,
desires and interests
and to realise that those are sometimes different
but not less important than my own.
I promise to share with you my time,
my close attention and to bring joy
and strength to our relationship.
I promise to grow along with you
to be willing to face changes as we both change
in order to keep our relationship alive.
And finally, I promise to love you
in good times and bad
with all I have to give
and all I feel inside
in the only way I know how,
completely and forever.
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for each other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth
Treat yourselves and each other with respect,
and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.
Give the highest priority to the tenderness,
gentleness, and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship –
as they threaten all relationships at one time or another –
remember to focus on what is right between you,
not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms
when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives –
remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment,
the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility
for the quality of your life together,
it will be marked with abundance and delight.
From this day forward
A marriage is a promise,
That two hearts gladly make.
A promise to be tender,
To help, to give and take.
A marriage is a promise,
To be kind and understanding.
To be thoughtful and considerate,
Fair and undemanding.
A marriage is a promise,
To share one life together.
A love filled promise,
Meant to be, kept lovingly
Lord Behold our family here assembled
We thank you for this place in which we dwell
For the love that unites us
For the peace accorded us this day
For the hope with which we expect the morrow
For the health, the work, the food
And the bright skies that make our lives delightful
For our friends in all parts of the earth
Love is giving, not taking
Mending, not breaking
And faithfully sharing
Each joy, each sorrow,
Today and tomorrow
Love is kind, understanding
But never demanding
Love is constant, prevailing
It’s strength never failing.
A promise once spoken
For all time unbroken
Love’s time is forever
This is why we belong together
Because whenever you smile
Something deep inside me
Urges me to smile back;
Whenever I am down
And I hear your laughter
I come alive again
Whenever I get too excited or agitated
You know how to calm me down
I often catch myself watching your face as you talk
Or when you listen to others
And just seeing your reaction makes me happy
I know we belong together because when we talk
You’ll say something that has been asleep in me for a while
Or even something I never knew was there
You’re the one I want to turn to when things get rough;
The one I want to share my happiness with when things are going great;
The one to whom I want to entrust my dreams and my heart.
I know we belong together because I have faith in you
Unlike the faith I have in anyone else,
Because you bring out the best in me, just as I bring it out in you.
I know we belong together because I want to love you
And do for you all that love entails
I want your happiness as much as I want my own, if not more
It takes a Groom
It takes a Bride
Two people standing side by side
It takes a ring and vows that say
this is our happy Wedding day.
But marriage vows are sanctified
and loving hearts are unified.
When standing with the bride and groom
Unseen by others in the room
The “Spirit of the Lord” is there
To Bless this happy Bridal pair.
For “God is Love” and married life is
Richer for both Man and Wife
When God becomes a partner too
In everything they plan to do
And every home is specially blessed
when God is made a “Daily Guest”.
For Married folks who pray together
Are married folks who stay together
For when God’s Love becomes a part
of body, mind, soul and heart.
Their love becomes a wondrous blessing
That’s both Eternal and unending
And when God looks down and says “Well Done”
For now you two are truly one.
There’s a promise of love everlasting.
Of joys even sweeter than now.
In the words you have repeated together
The words of that beautiful vow.
There’s assurance of someone to comfort,
To count on “in sickness and health”,
And no matter if “richer or poorer”
True love is the greatest of wealth.
In that beautiful vow you have repeated,
Those sweet words “to have and to hold”
In that promise “to love and to cherish”
Are treasures more precious than gold.
Through a lifetime of love, keep repeating
The words of that beautiful vow,
And the years will hold joys that are sweeter
More beautiful memories than now.
With You Forever
If you can always be as close
And as happy as today
Yet be secure enough to grow
And Change along the way
If you can keep for you alone
Your love as man and wife
Yet find the time to share your joy
With others in your life
If you can be as one
And walk through marriage hand in hand,
Yet support the goals and dreams
That each of you have planned
If you can dare to always go
Your separate ways together
Then all the wonder of today
Will stay with you forever
We are not meant to go through life alone.
We need a partner who will forever remain by our side,
Someone to lean on at all times,
remembering, as well, that we will be leaned on too.
Someone to share our joy and hold us in sorrow.
Understand that there will be difficult times
and doubt may cloud our lives.
It is then that you must trust each other the most
and believe that love will sustain you.
Do not give up easily, fight for what is most precious, your marriage.
Help it survive by nurturing it every single day.
Never hesitate to say "I love you" or be the first to say "I’m sorry".
Give a lot, overlook even more,
and always expect as much in return.
Never look back or loose yourself,
but celebrate the special privilege of being a couple.
Never loose sight of what brought you to the altar in the first place:
Your special love for each other,
Cherish that always.
A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians
Love is very patient and kind,
Never jealous or envious,
Never boastful or proud,
Never haughty or selfish or rude.
Love does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable or touchy.
It does not hold grudges
And will hardly even notice when others do wrong.
It is never glad about injustice,
But rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
If you love someone you will be loyal to them,
No matter what the cost.
You will always believe in them,
Always stand your ground, defending them.
All the special gifts, and powers from God
Will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever.
A reading from the first letter of St John
My dear people, let us love another since love comes from God,
and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love.
God’s love for us was revealed when God sent into the world
His only Son so that we could have life through him;
this is the love I mean: not our love for God,
but God’s love for us when he sent His Son to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.
My dear people, since God loved us so much, we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;
but as long as we love one another God will live in us and his love will be complete in us
A reading from the Songs of Songs
My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
O my dove is the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff,
let me see your face, let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
My beloved is mine and I am his.
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.
A reading from the letter to the Hebrews
Let marriage be held in honour by all.
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.
Let marriage be held in honour by all. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you”. So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid”.
A reading from the Book of Tobit
On the evening of their marriage, Tobias said to Sarah, ‘You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and protection’. They began praying for protection, and this was how he began;
‘You are blessed, O God of our fathers;
Blessed, too, is your name for ever and ever.
Let the heavens bless you and all things you have made for evermore.
It was you who created Adam, you who created Eve his wife to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race was born.
It was you who said, “It is not good that the man should be alone;
let us make his a helpmate like himself.”
And so I do not take my sister for any lustful motive;
I do it in singleness of heart. Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me and bring us to old age together.
And together they said, ‘Amen, Amen’.
A reading from the Book of Ruth
For wherever you go, I shall go. Wherever you live, so shall I live.
Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God too.
Whenever you laugh, I laugh, whenever you cry, your tears are mine.
We will be together forever and our love will be the gift of life.
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians
Follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place.
Husbands should love their wives just as Christ loved the Church and
sacrificed Himself for her to make her holy.
He made her clean by washing her in water with a form of words,
so that when he took her to himself she would be glorious with no speck or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and faultless. In the same way, husbands must love their wives as they love their own bodies; for a man to love his wife is for him to love himself.
A man never hates his own body, but he feeds it and looks after it;
and that is the way Christ treats the Church, because it is his body– and we are its living parts.
For this reason, a man must leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one body. This mystery had many implications; but I am saying it applies to Christ and the Church.
A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians (short version)
Love is patient and kind; it is never jealous. Love is never boastful; or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence, and is not resentful.
Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.
A reading from the Book of the Apostles
Brothers, I will show you a better path. I speak the language of all men and Angels. I have nothing if I don’t have love and companionship in my life. I have the gift to predict and know all secrets and the power to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. I could share in alms all that I have and still be alive, but if I am without love, it is all worthless to me. Love is compassionate; love serves a purpose and contains no envy. Love contains no conceit or irritation or badness or injustice. Apologise without limits, believe without limits, wait without limits. Love lasts forever.
No one ever so stressed the importance of love, or described it better than St. Paul
A reading from the first letter of St Paul to the Corinthians. Chapter 13
If I speak in tongues of men and of angels, but do not have 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 move mountains, but have not love,
I gain nothing .
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; Love is not jealous or boastful;
It is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, Believes all things,
Hopes all things. Love never ends.
A reading from letter of St. Paul to the Colossians
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another, forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
A reading from John 15; 12-16
This is my commandment: love one another
Jesus said to his disciples: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you as slaves, for a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you”
A reading from the Book of Genesis
The Lord God said, “It is not right that the man should be alone; I shall make him a helper”.
So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild animals and all the birds of heaven.
These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it.
The man gave names to all cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild animals.
But no helper suitable for the man was found for him.
The, the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep.
And, while he was asleep, he took one of his ribs and closed the flesh up again forthwith.
The Lord God fashioned the rib he had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man.
And the man said:
This at last is bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh!
She is to be called Woman,
Because she was taken from Man.
This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife,
and they become one flesh.