Falling In Love Is Like Owning A Dog: Ceremony Readings

When Geoff and I were trying to pick a ceremony reading, we had the hardest time with it.  Nothing seemed to really fit.  While I still plan on a general post about planning out the ceremony, I wanted to take a minute to talk about readings since some of my blogging buddies are quickly approaching their own wedding days 🙂

If you are having a religious ceremony, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will have to have a reading done out of whichever Holy Book your religion follows.  In a Catholic ceremony you usually have to have at least 2, but in some of the more relaxed Methodist churches you don’t have to do one at all.  I’m not going to pretend I know anything about any other religions’ wedding ceremony practices.  What the requirements are is something you will have to discuss with your officiant.  There might even be specific ones you have to choose from, which does make it harder to make the ceremony customized for you, but also makes it a LOT easier to plan the ceremony.

Outside of that, you can pretty much do whatever you want!  There are so many different choices that I can’t begin to cover them all, but here’s what you’ll usually see:

  • Religious readings.  There are several websites that exist that have listings of “typical” selections for every Holy Book you can think of, though some will be more difficult to locate than others.  You can of course go outside these suggested lists if there is a passage in particular that you like, thought that means you have to do your search from scratch and just pour through the text.  For those of you in the Christian/Catholic family, be aware: many of the passages make statements along the lines of the wife being subservient to the husband.  If you are of a more traditional mindset, these will be perfect for you.  If you’re like Geoff and I however, it’s going to be a little shocking.  We ended up choosing Song of Solomon 8:6-8.
  • Book excerpts.  It’s not uncommon for couples to choose readings out of books that have nothing to do with their religions (if they even associate with one).  Some couples will choose a section of a religious book simply because it speaks to them, while some will pull from books they love themselves.  I’ve even heard of couples who use a section of “The Velveteen Rabbit”.  While this is the most open-ended option, making it difficult, not restricting yourselves to a particular book gives you the greatest chance of finding something that really reflects the two of you.
  • Funny readings.  If you’re not very serious people, it may feel silly to you to have some serious book passage read in the middle of your ceremony.  While it’s nice to keep things focused on the seriousness of the marriage, it can be nice to lighten it up a little with something a little more humorous.  Couples who take this route usually already have something in mind, so it’s not much of a searching-to-find-the-right-one issue.  Just remember to keep it appropriate (we don’t want to make grandma blush), and that this isn’t the time to go for shock value.  Keep it more subtle and you’re likely to keep everyone happy.

While we were looking for a Bible passage to use for our ceremony, we came across a poem that just seemed so us that we knew we had to use it somehow.  Our Pastor okay-ed it, and my sister read it after he finished the scripture we had chosen.  The poem is “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali.  We loved it because it was sweet, but funny and not overly serious.  You can view his other work on his website (where he openly encourages using his poems, thanks Taylor!), but just scroll down to see the one we chose.

How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog – Taylor Mali

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Sometimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

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Posted on July 13, 2012, in Ceremony, Misc. Topics (Wedding), To-Do, Uncategorized, Wedding Planning Isn't For Sissies and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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