10 of my Favourite Ceremony Readings and Poems
One of the biggest pros of having a Celebrant Ceremony is that you are free to personalise your ceremony in any way you like! And one of the best ways to do this is by adding ceremony readings and poems. This is a really great way of making your ceremony really personal and it is also a fantastic way of involving family and friends in your ceremony.
Whether you are a couple who love poetry and would like to choose your own, or are happy for me to give you recommendations, I love working with my couples to decide on which readings and poems will work best for them and their ceremony. I keep a document full of ideas for readings and poems and share this with you during our ceremony planning journey. I even print your readings and poems into beautiful personalised booklets for your readers to read from on the day!
So, here are 10 of my Favourites! I could choose so many more...but I hope you love these as much as I do and maybe they might give you some much needed inspiration for your own ceremony readings and poems.
Scaffolding by Seamus Heaney
Masons, when they start upon a building, Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points, Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall Confident that we have built our wall.
That Still and Settled Place
In that still and settled place There’s nobody but you You’re where I breath my oxygen You’re where I see my view And when the world feels full of noise My heart knows what to do It finds that still and settled place And dances there with you
The Relationship Promise by Luke Wright
I promise, my darling, to be your best friend to settle the quarrels before the day ends to teach you new things and learn in return halve debts, colds and baths, and share laughs and concerns.
I promise, my love, to be silly with you to giggle in restaurants and cinema queues the romance and hum-drum all blended to bliss a life battle-plan that’s sealed with a kiss. From school runs and housework to sweet pillow talk from mortgage repayments to long country walks a cuppa in bed when the morning begins and then when it’s over, I’ll pour you a gin.
I promise I’ll seek to avoid nasty schisms I know that at times we’ll need two televisions I love you so much that whenever we fight I’ll learn to repeat: I was wrong, you were right.
I’ll cook for you darling, that’s what love’s about a meal made from scratch is worth one hundred out I’ll shield you from worries that swing overhead I promise I’ll try to be awesome in bed.
I promise, my darling, I’ll give you your space when you’re on the loo, dear, I’ll spare you my face but know that I’ll be there when your spirit sinks to match you for messiness, cuddles and drinks.
I love you, my darling, so let’s live together stack days into decades to make our forever.
by Cheryl Barclay
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 whole 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
Now Touch The Air Softly
William Jay Smith
“Now touch the air softly, step gently, one, two... I’ll love you ’till roses are robin’s-egg blue; I’ll love you till gravel is eaten for bread, And lemons are orange, and lavender’s red.
Now touch the air softly, swing gently the broom. I’ll love you till windows are all of a room; And the table is laid, And the table is bare, And the ceiling reposes on bottomless air.
I’ll love you ‘till heaven rips the stars from his coat, And the moon rows away in a glass-bottomed boat; And Orion steps down like a river below, And earth is ablaze, and the oceans aglow.
So touch the air softly, and swing the broom high. We will dust the grey mountains, and sweep the blue sky: And I’ll love you as long as the furrow the plough, As however is ever, and ever is now.”
“A Passage from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”
By Louis De Bernières
Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have 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 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 blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.
“Time in a Bottle” By Jim Croce
“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do, is to save every day ‘till eternity passes away, just to spend them with you. If I could make days last forever; if words could make wishes come true; I’d save every day like a treasure and then, again, I would spend them with you. If I had a box just for wishes, and dreams that had never come true; the box would be empty, except for the memory of how they were answered by you. But there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do, once you find them. I’ve looked around enough to know that you’re the one I want to go through time with”
A Vow by Wendy Cope
I cannot promise never to be angry; I cannot promise always to be kind. You know what you are taking on, my darling – It’s only at the start that love is blind. And yet I’m still the one you want to be with And you’re the one for me – of that I’m sure. You are my closest friend, my favourite person, The lover and the home I’ve waited for. I cannot promise that I will deserve you From this day on. I hope to pass that test. I love you and I want to make you happy. I promise I will do my very best.
For Dog Lovers:
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride together. When loved ones come home always run to greet them. When you want treats, practice obedience. Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory. Take naps together and stretch before rising. Be loyal. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body. No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout… Run right back and make friends. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk together. Love each other unconditionally.
Partnership is more…
Partnership is more than standing here side by side, Exchanging looks full of love, full of pride. It’s more than the ceremony, which lasts just a while, It’s a promise that’s shared, it’s an intimate smile. It’s a personal bond that you know will not end, The knowledge that someone your love will defend. It’s a vow of commitment, special and true, It’s a hope and a dream of love endless for you.