help me find community and commitment readings
September 2, 2010 6:38 AM   Subscribe

[commitment/marriage/community support filter]: looking for a reading about community support in the success of a relationship.

hi folks. i'm helping two love.birds in a search. i am looking for a reading (poem, short prose, small story, etc.) that touches on the importance of community support, engagement, and energy in the success of a relationship. the reading will be part of a queer commitment ceremony and will be followed by a community vow. thoughts about beautiful community vows also welcome.
posted by anya32 to Human Relations (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I think in many Quaker weddings there is a marriage certificate which everyone signs (e.g.: Not sure how this would work logistically with this particular wedding, but maybe it's something they could incorporate?

(Also, I wanted to add I think this is a great idea. I've been to two weddings with community vows and in both cases it was a really lovely and moving addition to the service. Congratulations to your friends!)
posted by en forme de poire at 8:00 AM on September 2, 2010

Unitarian Universalist weddings (and dedications of newborn children, and services for kids graduating high school, and maybe other things I'm not thinking of) often include community vows. Example in Section B here. (Maybe you and your lovebirds are already talking to somebody in a UU community and already know this, but if you aren't I bet it would help.)
posted by clavicle at 8:34 AM on September 2, 2010

I don't know how dedicated you want to be in your search, but there's a giant collection of wedding readings in a forum here at the indiebride website. I recently scanned through them all and it took several hours. Unfortunately I was looking for nature-related readings instead of ones that focus on community, so I can't say for sure whether there's anything in there to match what you're looking for. But honestly, if there's something that has been used in more than one wedding ever, it's probably there.
posted by vytae at 3:46 PM on September 2, 2010

Community was important in our wedding as well, so here are two portions of our ceremony you are welcome to use.

"Today A and E proclaim their love to the world, and we rejoice with and for them. In marriage, we give ourselves freely and generously into the hands of the one we love, and in doing so, each of us receives the love and trust of the other as our most precious gift. But even as that gift is shared by two people who are in love, it also touches the friends and family members who, in various ways, support and contribute to the relationship. All of you constitute A's and E's community, and each of you has played some part in bringing them to this moment. This is why gathering as a community is such an important part of a wedding ceremony. A and E are now taking a new form as a married couple, and in this form they will become part of their community in a new way."

Found on this readings for Humanist ceremonies site.

"Marriage is at one a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition."

This reading borrows heavily from the decision written by Judge Marshall in the case that gave all couples the right to marry in Massachusetts. You can find the full text, which is quite lovely, here.
posted by nelleish at 2:48 PM on September 3, 2010

Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by anya32 at 11:33 AM on September 8, 2010

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