My friend Erin is going through the planning process, and when I saw her post about non-traditional wedding readings on Facebook (which cracked me up!), I asked her to share some of her favorites so far. You guys are going to love these, and part two is coming up later this week. Enjoy!
Before I jump into a few unique readings I’ve found, allow me to give a quick introduction. Me: raised Catholic and attended Catholic school from first grade through high school. Him: Not quite. You might see where I’m going here.
Our wedding ceremony this November will not be in a church, but I wanted the service to represent my background as well as his. We hired a celebrant who is a former priest (now married to a lovely woman); he’s spiritual and religious, but definitely not your traditional Catholic priest. He suggested that we have a ceremony with one Old or New Testament reading from the Bible, then one secular piece that works for us as a couple.
Even though one of our readings will be “traditional,” I have never really been interested in going along with what everyone else does. I love 1 Corinthians 13, but it’s not right for this particular wedding. We wanted something a little more unique and representative of our lives together, not just a nice verse that our friends and family have heard before.
Here are a few options if you’re in the same boat. If you can think of any more, please feel free to leave your suggestions!
Proverbs 3:1-6, 13-18
My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.
Song of Solomon or Song of Songs 8:6-7
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.
Jeremiah 33: 10-11
“This is what the LORD says: ‘You say about this place, “It is a desolate waste, without people or animals.” Yet in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are deserted, inhabited by neither people nor animals, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying,
“Give thanks to the LORD Almighty,
for the LORD is good;
his love endures forever.”
For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,’ says the LORD.
Romans 12:1-2, 9-13
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
1 Peter 3:8-12a
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For,
“Whoever would love life and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
(This last one is optional but I’m including because I think it’s funny) J
And if you’re REALLY looking for something unique, I found this suggestion from a Yahoo user:
2 Kings 2:23-24
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!” they said. “Go on up, you baldhead!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
Maybe not ideal for most weddings, but a good lesson nonetheless!