18 years ago, I was asked by a close friend to do a reading at her wedding. Having no clue about marriage, or why anyone would choose to do it, I stumbled through a few published works to find something appropriate, but just nothing rang true for me. So I poured a wine, and sat on the back steps one afternoon, and thought – if I was ever going to get married, why would I? What did I ‘believe’ it meant? How did I think it could possibly work? And I wrote them this. It turns out that 18 years later, I still pretty much believe the same things.
In the beginning God created man, but he soon saw the richness and wonder of his creation was too great to be contained in a single being. So he took a rib and created woman. He then took the portion of individual characteristics he need to balance this pair, and distributed them evenly between them.
Later, he realised that before they could truly love the virtues and flaws in the other, they had to lean to live with those inside themselves. So he sent them separately to earth – to grow and understand their oneness, and only then could they find and appreciate each other and become whole.
He then decreed there must be respect for the individuality of each other – for this is why he did not make you the same. You are richer because of the differences, not in spite of them.
He then created happy days, for you to delight in the glory of your togetherness – and gave you laughter, to share with each other; and with those who are drawn to you in friendship, because we are warmed by your love.
Then, to keep the balances he so carefully observed from the start, he created difficult days, for you to find strength in each other – and he gave you voices, to talk things through, because the answers and truth lie only within yourselves and must be drawn from one another, with gentleness and care.
As you stand here on your wedding day, promise and remember always to encourage each other forward. For where one achieves, so the other revels in success. Be there no secrets, and no lies, for these are rocks that you hide behind alone, where your partner can never find you – and eventually you will be lost. Support each other through all adversity and there can be no mountains high enough to defeat you.
Build you lives on kindness, trust, love and understanding and you will grow to the full potential of all you have been created and joined for.
God smiles today at the union of this bride and groom, for two of his children have witnessed the light that shines between them. They believe in the solidarity of marriage, and have said “we are not afraid”. They have seen the reflection of themselves in each other and know the promise the years ahead hold for them.
Today, each has taken the other ones heart, and placed it safely inside their own, and they have become one.
© Michele Harrod, 1995
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