THE BLOG
10/13/2014 04:43 pm ET Updated Dec 13, 2014

Kahlil Gibran Wedding Readings

Couples of all backgrounds and faiths appreciate the romantic inspiration on marriage and love by Lebanese-born author, poet, philosopher, and artist Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931).

While his classic book, The Prophet, spiked in popularity in the 1930s and again in the 1960s, some parts of the book have found a resurgence in weddings today.

Not sure that he envisioned his work being shared for, and by, couples standing at the wedding altar, but he certainly wanted the concepts he shared made available to people in love. Below are some of the excerpts from The Prophet that I have used in non-denominational and religious ceremonies. I don't think he will mind if you use any of these in your ceremony.

The BBC did a terrific radio special on Gibran a while back. I was honored to be interviewed about using his words in weddings. You can learn more about his popularity and life here.

On Marriage
You were born together, and together you shall be forever more.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your
days.
Yes, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of heaven dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond 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 from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but each one of you be
alone--even as the strings of a lute are alone though the quiver
with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not in 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 Cyprus grow not in each other's shadows

- Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

Love Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran
Let these be your desires:
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 upon your lips.

-- Kahlil Gibran, Adapted from The Prophet

On Love
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep,
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire,
that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say,
'God is in my heart,' but rather,
'I am in the heart of God.'
And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs 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 to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips
.
- Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

You may find the whole book inspiring! You can get The Prophet here.