Celebrations of the Spirit Rev. Melinda Angstadt
Celebrations of the SpiritRev. Melinda Angstadt

                     Readings & Scripture

1 Corinthians, Chapter

Love is patient, love is kind;

love is not jealous or boastful;

it is not arrogant or rude.

Love does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful

it does not rejoice over wrong-doings,

but rejoices in the truth. 

Love bears all things, believes all things,

hopes all things, endures all things.”

 

The Promise by Heather Berry

Within this blessed union of souls

Where two hearts intertwine to become one,

There lies a promise.

Perfectly born, divinely created, and intimately shared.

It is a place where the hope and majesty of beginnings reside,

Where all things are made possible

By the astounding love shared by two spirits.

 

As you hold each other’s hands in this promise,

And eagerly look to the future in each other’s eyes,

May your unconditional love and devotion

Take you to places of which you’ve both only dreamed,

Where you’ll dwell for a lifetime of happiness

Sheltered in the warmth of each other’s arms.

 

Love by Roy Croft

I love you, not only for what you are

But for what I am when I am with you

 

I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself

But for what you are making of me

 

I love you, for the part of me that you bring out;

I love you, for putting your hand into my heart

And passing over all the foolish, weak things

That you can’t help dimly seeing there,

And for drawing out into the light

All the beautiful belongings that no one else had looked

Quite far enough to find

 

I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life

Not a tavern; but a temple:

Out of works of my every day

Not a reproach but a song

 

Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good,
And more than any fate
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.

You have done it
By being yourself.

 

The Greatest Gift by Katharine Whiteside Taylor; adapted

All things I would give my love,

All things tender, caring, serving, true.

I would enwrap her in my loving arms

And shield her from all stress and pain

I would enchant him with the vision bright

Of those rare gifts that are his deepest self.

And I would carry her on wings of joy

To all the heights the soul of man can know.

 

On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran from The Prophet

Love one another, but make not a bondage of love.

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread, but eat not of the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone.

Even as the strings of a lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not unto each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together,

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadows.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bondage of love.

 

True Love

True love is a sacred flame

That burns eternally,

And none can dim its special glow

Or change its destiny.

True love speaks in tender tones

And hears with gentle ear.

True love gives with open heart

And true love conquers fear.

True love makes no harsh demands.

It neither rules nor binds,

and true love holds with gentle hands

The hearts that it entwines.

 

What Is Love?

Love

Love is the strongest feeling known

an all-encompassing passion

and extreme strength

an overwhelming excitement

Love is trying not to hurt the other person

trying not to change the other person

trying not to dominate the other person

trying not to deceive the other person

Love is understanding each other

listening to each other

supporting each other

having fun with each other.

Love is not an excuse to stop growing

not an excuse to stop making yourself better

not an excuse to lessen one’s goals

not an excuse to take the other person for granted

Love is being completely honest with each other

finding dreams to share

working towards common goals

sharing responsibilities equally

Everyone in the world wants to love

Love is not a feeling to be taken lightly

Love is a feeling to be cherished, nurtured, and cared for.

Love is the reason for life.

 

A Love Like This, Dan Fogleberg

And now the lonely days are done
And with each rising of the sun, love begins anew
And if you ever ask me why
I know that my love will never die I'll say these words to you
Of all the souls I've ever known
Mine sings to yours and yours alone and yours sings just to me
In all this world I'll never find
A heart that could beat as close to mine and this time I can see
A love like this is so hard to find
And so many never do
And loves like this, when they even exist
Are precious and few, you know they're precious and few
Down the miles, through the years
Yours is the star by which I steer, the brightest star I've known
And when I feel all hope is gone, yours is the love that leads me on
The light that guides me home

 

What is Love? by Walter Rinder

Love is just not looking at each other and saying "You're wonderful". There are times when we are anything but wonderful. Love is looking out in the same direction. It is linking our strength to pull a common load. It is pushing together towards the far horizons, hand in hand. Love is knowing that when our strength falters, we can borrow the strength of someone who cares. Love is a strange awareness that our sorrows will be shared and made lighter by sharing; that joys will be enriched and multiplied by the joy of another. Love is knowing someone else cares that we are not alone in life.

 

The Key to Love

The key to love is understanding ...
as it is the little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiveness ....
to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,
The key to love is sharing ...
Sharing 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 ...
Giving without thought of return,
but with the hope of just a simple smile,
and by giving in but never giving up.
The key to love is respect ...
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.

 

 

The Key To Love  (second version)

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 others 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 never giving 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.

 

Excerpt from The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach

A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. 

When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we are pretending to be.  Each unveils the best part of the other.  No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise.  Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction.  When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person.  Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.

 

The Colour of My Love, David Foster and Arthur Janov

I'll paint a sun to warm your heart
Knowing that we'll never part.
I'll draw the years all passing by
So much to learn, so much to try.
I'll paint my mood in a shadow blue,
Paint my soul to be with you.
I'll sketch your lips in shaded tones,
Draw your mouth to my own.
I'll trace a hand to wipe your tears
And trace a look to calm your fears.
A silhouette of dark and light
To hold each other oh so tight.
I'll paint the stars in the evening sky,
Draw the light into your eyes,
A touch of love, a touch of grace,
To softly fall on your moonlit face.
And with this ring our lives will start,
Let nothing keep our love apart.
I'll take your hand to hold in mine,
And be together through all time.

 

Traditional Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand

 

(Additional words for longer version)

May God be with you and bless you;

May you be poor in misfortune,

Rich in blessings,

May you know nothing but happiness

From this day forward

May the road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the warm rays of the sun fall upon your home

And the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,

May blue be the skies above you,

May pure be the joys that surround you,

May true be the hearts that love you.

 

The Art of 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 a day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude
of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.
It is speaking words of appreciation

and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo

or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.
It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal,

dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

It is about discovering what marriage can be at its best.

 

‘i carry your heart’ by E.E. Cummings

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)

 

Love by  Leo Buscaglia

In discussing love, it would be well to consider the following premises:

One cannot give what he does not posses.

To give love you must posses love.

One cannot teach what he does not understand.

To teach love you must comprehend love.

One cannot know what he does not study.

To study love you must live in love.

One cannot appreciate what he does not recognize.

To recognize love you must be receptive to love.

One cannot have doubt about that which he wishes to trust.

To trust love you must be convinced of love.

One cannot admit what he does not yield to.

To yield to love you must be vulnerable to love.

One cannot live what he does not dedicate himself to.

To dedicate yourself to love you must be forever growing in love.

 

Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog

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 for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise.
It runs you around the block and leaves you panting.
It pulls you in several different directions at once,
or winds around and around you
until you’re all wound up and can’t 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.

 

Apache Wedding Blessing

Now you will feel no rain

For each of you will be shelter to the other

For each of you will be warmth to the other

Now there will be no loneliness

For each of you will be companion to the other

Now you are two persons

But there is one life before you

Go now to your dwelling place

To enter into the days of your togetherness

And may your days be good and long upon this earth

 

Genesis 2:18-24

 

The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

 

Matthew 19:4-6

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

 

John 15:9-12

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

 

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

Colossians 3:12-17

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Matthew 5:1-10

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matthew 22:35-40

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

 

John 3:16

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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