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Today I went out to lunch - it was a sort of hen lunch for a friend who is getting married next week. It is all being kept very quiet for various family reasons, and so three of us met up to celebrate and help her plan her day. I have been asked to be one of the witnesses as she is having a civil ceremony - they are both divorcees and didn't want a "BIG" day.

This friend has asked if my daughter will do a reading during the ceremony which of course we will both be delighted for her to do. However......

I have just found out that, because it is a civil ceremony, there must be NO religious references or material of any sort. I feel this is kind of sad - I cannot totally put it into words but just because you want a quiet service out of the way, why does that mean that God may not be a part of that service? My friend has accepted it and is quite happy - I have now got the unenviable task of finding a suitable reading for my daughter to do.

Any suggestions for material for the reading?

hoggie
 

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They can have a small ceremony in a church, officiated by a minister. They don't have to go to the justice of the peace to have it done.
 

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hoggie - is this a British thing?
Could they have a small reception afterwards and have a 'religious' reading there?

Angie

PS: Didn't Prince Charles and Camilla have the civil cermony only?
 

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I'm not sure whether it is a British thing or if it is peculiar to our tiny rock - we still have some pretty odd laws and regulations around here :rolleyes:

As far as a reception goes, the wedding is being kept so quiet that there are going to be 6 of us there, my friend and her daughter and husband to be, me and my daughter, and the other witness. We are all going out to dinner afterwards as a sort of reception. I could get my daughter to prepare 2 readings I suppose - one for the service and one for when we get to dinner.

To be hones I am not sure what Charles and Camilla had - I managed to miss out on that one somehow - and there's me calls myself a Royalist :shrug:

hoggie
 

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Yes, it's another British thing :)
Most churches will bless a marriage if the couple wants it, but you cannot have religious readings at a civil ceremony (at the request of the church I believe).

I think a poem or piece of classical literature would be ideal - something like Byron's "She Walks in Beauty" or Coleridge's "Love" or Tennyson's "Marriage Morning." There's a nice Shakespear sonnet too - I can't remember the number offhand - one of the lines is Love is not time's fool - ok googled it - Sonnet 116.
I believe any of these would be suitable for a child to read (been a while since I read them, but I deliberately chose the more innocent/romantic poems).
 

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hoggie, I agree that it is sad that this couple cannot mention their beliefs in the ceremony. I was a wedding coordinator for years and John was a wedding photographer. You could really see a difference in the families that invited God to be a part of their ceremony! Ok, I instantly thought of the Apache Wedding Blessing when you mentioned that you needed to find a reading for your dd. I used the shortened version of this in my wedding invitations. In searching for this, I also found some other cool readings at a website spacifically for wedding readings. You would be amazed at what you will find if you google "wedding readings".


Apache Wedding Blessing (long version)

Now you will feel no storms,
for each of you will be shelter to the other.

Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there is no loneliness,
for each of you is companion to the other,

You are two persons,
but there is one life before you, and one home.

Turn together to look at the road you traveled,
to reach this---the hour of your happiness.
It stretches behind you into the past.

Look to the future that lies ahead.
A long and winding, adventure-filled road,
whose every turn means discovery,
new hopes, new joys, new laughter,
and a few shared tears.

May happiness be your companion,
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead;
And through all the years to come.

Go this day to your dwelling place
and enter into your days together.

May your days be good and long
upon the earth.
Your adventure has just begun!


HTH
God bless you and yours
Deb
 

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Debbie - I'm going to send that blessing to my engaged daughter, to consider for her wedding. They might just like it. If not, it's still nice to read.

Angie
 

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You may be able to get away with reading a romantic piece from the Songs of Solomon, many very romantic pieces in there and many might not recognize them as Scripture. Besides if she does read from a piece during the ceremony what can anyone really do??? Or you could look into a classic poem for the reading. There are many beautiful poems on love and marriage like Lay Thy Hand In Mine, Dear! by Gerald Massey

O, Lay thy hand in mine, dear!
We're growing old;
But Time hath brought no sign, dear,
That hearts grow cold.
Tis long, long since our new love
Made life divine;
But age enricheth true love,
Like noble wine.

And lay thy cheek to mine, dear,
And take thy rest;
Mine arms around thee twine, dear,
And make thy nest.
A many cares are pressing
On this dear head;
But Sorrow's hands in blessing
Are surely laid.

O, lean thy life on mine, dear!
T will shelter thee.
Thou wert a winsome vine, dear,
On my young tree;
And so, till boughs are leafless,
And songbirds flown,
We'll twine, then lay us, griefless,
Together down.

Or For Loves Sweet Sake by Barry Cornwall

Awake! the starry midnight hour
Hangs charmed, and pauseth in its flight;
In its own sweetness sleeps the flower,
And the doves lie hushed in deep delight.
Awake! Awake!
Look forth, my love, for Love's sweet sake!

Awake! soft dews will soon arise
From daised mead and thorny brake;
Then, sweet, unlcoud those eastern eyes,
And like the tender morning break!
Awake! Awake!
Dawn forth, my love, for Love's sweet sake!

Awake! within the musk-rose bower
I watch, pale flower of love, for thee.
Ah, come! and show the starry hour
What wealth of love thou hid'st from me!
Awake! awake!
Show all thy love, for Love's sweet sake!

Awake! ne'er heed though listening night
Steal music from thy silver voice;
Unlcoud thy beauty, rare and bright,
And bid the world and me rejoice!
Awake! awake!
She comes at last, for Love's sweet sake!
 

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Hoggie,

Having a civil ceremony does not generally mean that there must be no religious references or material.
Could it be that the couple just don't subscribe to any particular religious beliefs, and may feel uncomfortable bringing religion into their private ceremony?
Why not simply ask your friend if she has any particular reading in mind that she would like, as you would normally have chosen some passage from the bible.
She may then reveal to you why she has chosen not to have a ceremony that involves religion.

Shin
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My friend is a Christian so I was a bit surprised that they are not having a blessing but the bit about no religious readings etc is the ruling of the court office. And that includes other religions - technically anything that would be considered religious in the culture that it originates from is not allowed. So I am guessing that the Apache blessing would probably not be allowed but I wonder how well versed the clerk to the court is in other religions LOL

I like the Apache blessing - I also like some of the others mentioned. Will run them past her but she said anything that my DD would like or that I would like her to read.

hoggie
 
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If it's a closed civil ceremony, what are they going to do if you do a religious reading?

We got married by a JP and before the service he brought us into his chamber and asked if we wanted any God references or not. We both did and he added it appropriately.

The reading from 2nd Corinthians isn't TOO religious, is it? It just talks about love and all that good junk. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm not sure what you mean by a "closed civil ceremony" - her the law states that there has to be an open door while the service is in progress.

hoggie
 
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