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Readings for a civil ceremony

By admin on November 24th, 2006 5 comments

Bibleopen Because we’re having a civil ceremony, we’re not able to have any of the religious readings those who have church weddings normally go for. We’d still like to have something, though, and have already picked out the two hapless victims who will stand up and read at our wedding: my mum (because she’s doing the lion’s share of the planning, and I always thing it’s a shame that the mother of the bride does so much of the work and gets so little of the glory) and my best friend.

In my mum’s case we’ve already picked out the "text", although it’s not so much a text as a song – she’ll be reading out the lyrics to our first dance song, which is In My Life, by the Beatles. It’s actually quite difficult to read out song lyrics without bursting into song (especially when it’s one you know!) so she’s already gone into training for that one…

For the second reading, though, we’re stumped. My choice was Us Two by A.A. Milne, which never fails to bring a tear to my eye (I’m a bit wet like that), but this was immediately vetoed by Terry, who would rather have something a little more traditionally romantic. Clearly we need to find a middle ground, but just what that might be, well, who knows.

I’ve been having a read through the verses on this wedding site, but so far nothing’s jumped out at me. So, those of you who are having a civil wedding – help me! Are you having any readings, and if so, what have you chosen?

  • Rachel

    I had this at my wedding – well actually got the whole congregation to recite it like you would a prayer. It was lovely!

    May the sun bring you new energies by day;
    May the moon softly restore you by night.
    May the rain wash away any worries you may have
    And the breeze blow new strength into your being.
    And then, all the days of your life,
    May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.
    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 more loneliness;
    Now you are two persons / but there is only one life before you.
    Go now to your dwelling / to enter into your life together;
    And may your days be good / and long upon the earth.

  • Ruth

    we had a civil ceremony too. This one was lovely to start everything off.
    Romantic -but not too slushy. Hope the day goes well

    On Your Wedding Day
    Author Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

  • Georgie

    This is my favourite love poem – it just says so much about how you love someone – even though it’s nearly 100 years old

    The Confirmation – Edwin Muir

    “Yes, yours, my love, is the right human face
    I in my mind had waited for this long,
    seeing the false and searching for the true,
    Then found you as a traveller finds a place
    Of welcome suddenly among the wrong
    Valleys and rocks and twisting roads. But you,
    What shall I call you? A fountain in a waste,
    A well of water in a country dry,
    Or anything that’s honest and good, an eye
    That makes the whole world bright. Your open heart,
    Simple with giving, gives the primal deed,
    The first good word, the blossom, the blowing seed,
    The hearth, the steadfast land, the wandering sea.
    Not beautiful or rare in every part.
    But like yourself, as they were meant to be.”

    I like it, because it’s truthful and special. It says that your loved one is both ordinary and miraculous, and that is how you love them. Which is a nice sentiment, I think. But maybe it’s a bit old fashioned…

  • Laura

    At my brother’s wedding, my sister read “Believe Me If All These Endearing Young Charms”, by Thomas Moore.

    Personally, I’m fond of Rumi. There’s “This Marriage” —

    May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
    May it be sweet milk,
    this marriage, like wine and halvah.
    May this marriage offer fruit and shade
    like the date palm.
    May this marriage be full of laughter,
    our every day a day in paradise.
    May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
    a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
    May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
    an omen as welcome
    as the moon in a clear blue sky.
    I am out of words to describe
    how spirit mingles in this marriage.

    I also like “I Have Five Things to Say”, but it’s a little bit unusual and no one I know has used it….

  • Some excellent suggestions here – thanks everyone! I’m going to have to take some time to read them all over properly… Rachel, I love the idea of having that congregation read out the poem – what a lovely idea!

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