It has been quite some time since I have heard the following read in a ceremony, however it is still one of my favourites, as I like they way it encourages independence in a very honest way.
The beliefs and thoughts about love and marriage which motivate these two people are perhaps best expressed in some words of the prophet Kahlil Gibran.
“ You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the 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 the same cup.
Give one another bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one 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 into each others 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 cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”