The Officiants at Church of Ancient Ways

Readings from Biblical and Sacred Texts

Photo by Alex Mercano |

  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

    “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and 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 at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

  • 1 Corinthians Adapted for Two Readers

    This is a beautiful and unique version of 1st Corinthians that is perfect for 2 readers.

    May you have His kind of love for each other.

    May you be able to lovingly overlook each other’s faults and weaknesses.

    May you seek praise for each other and not for yourselves.

    May you give of yourselves for each other’s needs and treat one another with utmost respect.

    May you genuinely listen to each other with a willingness to be wrong yourselves.

    May you be tolerant of each other’s moods, always ready to forgive, never holding a grudge.

    May you experience happiness because of each other’s triumphs and successes.

    May you seek to understand each other’s differences, knowing you will stick together through it all.

    May you always expect the best in each situation, regardless of temporary setbacks.

    May you never give up your commitment to work on improving your relationship.

    May you spend the rest of your lives together enjoying God’s love.


  • The Buddha’s Sermon At Rajagaha; Verses 19-22

    From The Buddhist Scriptures

    “Do not deceive, do not despise each other anywhere. Do not be angry nor bear secret resentments; for as a mother will risk her life and watches over her child, so boundless be your love to all, so tender, kind and mild.

    Cherish good will right and left, early and late, and without hindrance, without stint, be free of hate and envy, while standing and walking and sitting down, what ever you have in mind, the rule of life that is always best is to be loving-kind.”

  • Druidic Vow

    “We swear by peace and love to stand
    Heart to heart, and hand in hand.
    Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now,
    Confirming this our Sacred Vow.”

  • The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad; Selected Verses

    “A wife loves her husband not for his own sake, dear one, but because the Divine Beloved lives in him. A Husband loves his wife not for her own sake, dear one, but because the Divine Beloved lives in her. Children are loved not for their own sake, dear one, but because the Divine Beloved lives in them… All things are loved not for their own sake, but because the Divine Beloved lives in them. The Divine Beloved must be realized. Hearing about and meditating upon the Divine Beloved, you will come to understand everything in life…

    As long as there is the sense of separateness, one sees another as separate from oneself… But when the Divine Beloved is realized as the indivisible unity of life, who can be seen by whom…who can be spoken to by whom, who can be thought of by whom, who can be known by

  • From Pope John Paul II

    “You will reciprocally promise love, loyalty, and matrimonial honesty. We only want for you this day that these words constitute the principle of your entire life; and that with the help of the divine grace you will observe these solemn vows that today, before God, you formulate.”

  • Genesis 2:15-24

    “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

  • Ruth 1:16-17

    “But Ruth said, “Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God; where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you.”

  • Proverbs 18:22

    “Who so findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”

  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

    “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

  • Song Of Solomon 2:10-13

    “My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

  • Song Of Solomon 8:6-7

    “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned.”

  • Matthew 19:4-6

    “He answered, “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female and said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. “

  • Mark 10:6-9, 13-16

    “But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” … And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.”

  • John 2:1-1

    “On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”

  • John 15:9-12

    “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

  • Ephesians 5:1-2, 21-33

    “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God…Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

  • Colossians 3:12-17

    “Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and dearly loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you are also to forgive. Above all, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, a singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

    Christian Standard Bible

  • I Ching

    “When two people are at one
    in their inmost hearts,
    they shatter even the strength of iron or bronze.
    And when two people understand each other
    in their inmost hearts,
    their words are sweet and strong,
    like the fragrance of orchids.”

  • Bhagavad Gita

    “Look to this day,
    For it is life,
    The very life of life.
    In its brief course lie all the varieties
    And realities of your existence;
    The bliss of growths
    The glory of action,
    The splendor of beauty;
    For yesterday is but a dream
    And tomorrow is only a vision,
    But today well lived makes
    Every yesterday a dream of happiness
    And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
    Look well, therefore, to this day.
    Such is the salvation of the dawn.”

  • Song of Solomon 7:10-12 “Growing in Love”

    “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.
    Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field;
    let us lodge in the villages.
    Let us get up early to the vineyards;
    let us see if the vine flourish,
    whether the tender grape appear,
    and the pomegranates bud forth:
    there will I give thee my loves.”

  • Song of Solomon 2:10-13

    “My lover spoke and said to me,
    “Arise my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me.
    See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
    Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come.
    The cooing of doves is heard in our land.
    The fig tree forms its early fruit;
    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
    Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”

  • The Koran

    “O believers, be in awe of God,
    and believe in His Messenger,
    and He will give you a twofold portion of His mercy,
    and He will appoint for you a light
    whereby you shall walk, and forgive you;
    God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate;
    that the People of the Book may know
    that they have no power over anything of God’s bounty,
    and that bounty is in the hand of God;
    He gives it unto whomsoever He will;
    and God is of bounty abounding.”

  • The Koran: Chapter, The Women

    “O ye mankind!
    Reverence your Lord
    Who made you from a single being,
    and from that being He made its mate,
    And from the twain He caused to spread
    Many men and many women;
    And reverence God
    By Whom you question one another
    And (pay respect to) the ties of relationship.
    Surely, God watches over you.”

  • The Qur’an: 9:71-72

    “It requires that a husband and wife should be as garments for each other. Just as garments are for protection, comfort, show and concealment for human beings, Allah expects husbands and wives to be for one another.

    And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger; as for those, Allah will have mercy on them; Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. Allah hath promised to believers – men and women – gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in gardens of everlasting bliss; but the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of Allah: This is the supreme felicity.”

  • The Qur’an: 30:21

    “Among His signs is [the fact] that He has created spouses for you among yourselves so that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has planted love and mercy between you; In that are signs for people who reflect.”

  • Adapted From The “Tao Te Ching”

    by Lao Tzu

    “Explore and discover that which is within.
    When we find ourselves, we are more easily found by others.
    Without words, without even understanding,
    lovers find each other.
    The moment of finding is always a surprise,
    like meeting an old friend never before known.
    Life and marriage are a wondrous journey,
    ever unfolding an opportunity
    to rediscover ourselves and our beloved
    again and again for even on a shared journey
    the only thing constant is change.
    Embrace it and let it lead you
    to many a glorious tomorrow.”

  • Based on the Hindu 7 steps

    “Marriage has in it the power to form a circle of family
    that includes all who are touched by the warmth
    of the love shared by a loving husband and wife,
    creating a common ground of uncommon richness.
    May your marriage bring your souls an abundance
    of spiritual and physical nourishment.
    May you be strong enough to balance one another,
    caring and giving enough to complement one another.
    May you be prosperous in all ways, ever appreciative,
    and grateful for all the gifts your marriage has brought.
    May you see your children grow and thrive.
    And may you live your lives together in perfect harmony,
    As partners, lovers, parents, teachers and best friends.”

  • From “The Lost Sutras of Jesus”

    Christian monks who lived and worked in China from the 6th century on:

    “Love leads to truth; perfect love to perfect truth.
    Truth is like the moon reflected in the water;
    when the water is stirred up and muddy,
    the image is blurred and indistinct,
    so it is with human beings when our spirit is clouded.
    Let your love be a pure compassion for one another,
    without seeking its own glory,
    let it be true in your own hearts.
    Let your spirits guide you
    to what is right and true and just.
    This is the way love leads us.”

  • The Couple’s Tao Te Ching: Always Return

    Lao Tzu, sixth century B.C.E.

    “It is good to know your strength
    But always return to your flexibility
    If you cradle your beloved in your arms
    In nurturing gentleness,
    Love will flow through you.

    It is good to achieve things
    But always return to anonymity.
    Your beloved does not need your achievements
    But needs your uncomplicated soul.

    It is good to work for change,
    But always return to what is.
    If you accept all things whether painful or joyful
    You will always know
    That you belong to each other.”

  • The Prayer of St. Francis

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
    where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    where there is sadness, joy.

    O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
    to be consoled as to console,
    to be understood as to understand,
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

  • A Littany Based on “The Prayer of St. Francis”

    Leader: “With all our heart and all our mind we pray to you O Lord:”
    People: “Make us instruments of your peace.”

    Leader: “For the peace of the world, that a spirit of respect and forbearance may grow among nations and peoples, we pray to you O Lord:”
    People: “Where there is hatred, let us sow Love.”

    Leader: “For our enemies and those who wish us harm, and for all whom we have injured or offended, we pray to you O Lord:”
    People: “Where there is injury, let us sow pardon.”

    Leader: “For all who believe in God in your many names, that our divisions may cease and all may be one, as you and the Father are one, we pray to you O Lord:”
    People: “Where there is discord let us sow union.”

    Leader: “For those who do not yet believe, for those who have lost their faith, and those in despair and darkness that they may receive the power of your love, we pray to you O Lord:”
    People: “Where there is doubt let us sow faith.”

    Leader: “For the poor, the persecuted, the sick and all who suffer; for refugees, prisoners, and all who are in danger; that they may be relieved and protected, we pray to you O Lord:”
    People: “Where there is despair, let us sow hope.”

    Leader: “For all who live in places where there is evil among men and bigotry and prejudice cast their dark shadow; that the yoke of oppression shall be lifted, we pray to you O Lord;”
    People: “Where there is darkness let us sow light.”

    Leader: “For those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit; that they may be comforted and healed; give then courage and hope in their troubles, and bring them the joy of salvation, we pray to you O Lord:”
    People: “Where there is sadness let us sow joy.”

    (other prayers and petitions may be added silently or aloud)

    All: “Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born into eternal life.

  • Ephesians 4:1-3

    I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”