Renewal of Vows Readings

#1 The One

When the one whose hand you’re holding
is the one who holds your heart,
When the one whose eyes you gaze into
gives your hopes and dreams their start,
When the one you think of first and last
is the one who holds you tight,
And the things you plan together
make the world seem just right,
When the one whom you believe in
puts their faith and trust in you,
You’ve found the one and only love
you’ll share your whole life through.

Author unknown

#2 When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sad, “From us fled Love,
He paced upon the mountains far above,
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.”

W.B. Yeats

#3 From The Prophet

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must need have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart
and a song of praise on your lips.

Kahlil Gibran

#4 From The Strength to Love

The meaning of love is not to be confused with some sentimental outpouring. Love is something much more than emotional bosh …. An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return, [agape] is the love of God operating in the human heart …. Love is the most durable power in the world.
This creative force, so beautifully exemplified in the life of our Christ, is the most potent
instrument available in humankind’s quest for peace and security. The great military leaders of the past have gone, and their empires have crumbled and burned to ashes. But the empire of Jesus, built solidly and majestically on the foundation of love, is still growing.

Martin Luther King Jr.

#5 From Gift from the Sea

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity – in freedom in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

#6 How Do I Love Thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, — I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

#7 My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose

0′ my luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June.
0′ my luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my Dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my Dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my Dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

Robert Burns

#8 The Art of a Good Marriage

A good marriage must be created.
In the marriage, the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of value and common objectives.
It is standing together and facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating
gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right person,
it is being the right partner

Wilfred Arlan Peterson

#9 I Love You This Much

I love you this much.
Enough to do anything for you, give my life, my love, my heart and my soul to you and for you.
Enough to willingly give all of my time, efforts, thoughts, talents, trust and prayers to you.
Enough to want to protect you, care for you, guide you, hold you, comfort you, listen to you and cry to you and with you.
Enough to be completely comfortable with you, act silly around you, never have to hide anything from you and be myself with you.
I love you enough to share all of my sentiments, dreams, goals, fears, hopes and worries, my entire life with you.
Enough to want the best for you, to wish for your successes and to hope for the fulfilment of all your endeavors.
Enough to keep my promises to you and pledge my loyalty and faithfulness to you.
Enough to cherish your friendship, adore your personality, respect your values and see you for who you are.
I love you enough to fight for you, compromise for you and sacrifice myself for you if need be.
Enough to miss you incredibly when we’re apart, no matter what length of time.
Enough to believe in our relationship, to stand by it through the worst of times, to have faith in our strength as a couple and to never give up on us.
Enough to spend the rest of my life with you, be there for you when you need or want me and never, ever want to leave you or live without you.
I love you this much.

author unknown

#10 The Key to Love

The key to love is understanding …
the ability to comprehend not only the spoken word, but those unspoken gestures, the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness …
to accept each other’s faults and pardon mistakes, without forgetting, but with remembering what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing …
facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together; both
conquering problems, forever searching for ways to intensify your happiness.

The key to love is giving …
without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but nevergiving up.

The key to love is respect …
realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each
other, that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all …
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold;
it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work …

but the rewards are more than worth the effort …

and that is the key to love.


#11 Why Marriage?

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body …
Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me …
Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold …
Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship …
Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements …
Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole …
Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness.
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage …
Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.


#12 I Promise

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 your own person
and to realise that your interest, desires and needs
are no less important than my own.
I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.
I promise to keep myself open to you,
to let you see through the windows of my world
into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams.
I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep
our relationship alive and exciting.
I promise to love you in good times and in bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside
in the only way I know how – completely and forever.

Dorothy R Colgan

#13 Union

You have known each other for years, through first glance of acquaintance to this moment of recommitment. At some moment, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” — those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” — and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. Just two people working out what they want what they believe what they hope for each other. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word.”Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another — acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. You have learned that good company and friendship count for more than good looks.  And you have learned that marriage is a maze into which we wonder- a maze that is best got through with a great companion. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife.

Robert Fulghum

#14 i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me
i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go, my dear;
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world
(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root
and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky
of a tree called life;
which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

E. E. Cummings 1894-1962

#15 Foundations of Marriage

Love, trust, and forgiveness are the foundations of marriage. In marriage, many days will bring happiness, while other days may be sad. But together, two hearts can overcome everything…

In marriage, all of the moments won’t be exciting or romantic, and sometimes worries and anxiety will be overwhelming. But together, two hearts that accept will find comfort together. Recollections of past joys, pains, and shared feelings will be the glue that holds everything together during even the worst and most insecure moments.

Reaching out to each other as a friend, and becoming the confidant and companion that the other one needs, is the true magic and beauty of any two people together. It’s inspiring in each other a dream or a feeling, and having faith in each other and not giving up… even when all the odds say to quit. It’s allowing each other to be vulnerable, to be himself or herself, even when the opinions or thoughts aren’t in total agreement or exactly what you’d like them to be.

It’s getting involved and showing interest in each other, really listening and being available, the way any best friend should be. Exactly three things need to be remembered in a marriage if it is to be a mutual bond of sharing, caring, and loving throughout life: love, trust, and forgiveness.

Regina Hill

#16 My Promise of Love to You 

I promise to give to you the best of myself,
And ask of you no more than you can give.
I promise to accept you the way you are
And I won’t try to reshape you in a different image.

I promise to respect you as a person,
with your own interests, desires, and needs
And realize that those are sometimes different
but no less important than my own.

I promise to share with you my time, my close attention,
And to bring joy and strength with imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you
to let you see through the window of my interpersonal world,
into my innermost fears and feelings, secrets, and dreams.

I promise to grow along with you
And be willing to change as we both change
in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting.

And finally…
I promise to love you in good and in bad
with all I feel inside in the only way I know how…
completely and forever.

#17 Those that Truly Love

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like a volcano and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

― Louis de Bernières, Corelli’s Mandolin

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