Scripture Readings

Genesis 2.18-24
18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19So out of the ground the LORD God formed every animal 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. 20The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.”
24Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Genesis 1.26-31
26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

27  So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Song of Solomon 2.10-13
10  My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
11  for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
12  The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
13  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
Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death,
its jealousy[a] unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
like a mighty flame.[b]

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.

Isaiah 63.7-9
7   I will recount the gracious deeds of the LORD,
the praiseworthy acts of the LORD,
because of all that the LORD has done for us,
and the great favor to the house of Israel
that he has shown them according to his mercy,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
8   For he said, “Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely”;
and he became their savior
9      in all their distress.
It was no messenger or angel
but his presence that saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
10  But they rebelled
and grieved his holy spirit;
therefore he became their enemy;
he himself fought against them.

Psalms:1
Blessed are the man and the woman
Who have grown beyond themselves
And have seen through their differences
They delight in the way things are
And keep their hearts open, day and night.
They are like trees planted near flowing rivers,
Which will bear fruit when they are ready.

Their leaves will not fall or wither.
Everything they do will succeed.

Psalms:33
The Greatness and Goodness of God
1    Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous.
Praise befits the upright.
2   Praise the LORD with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
3   Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
4   For the word of the LORD is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5   He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.
6   By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7   He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
he put the deeps in storehouses.
8   Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9   For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10  The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11  The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12  Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.
13  The LORD looks down from heaven;
he sees all humankind.
14  From where he sits enthroned he watches
all the inhabitants of the earth—
15  he who fashions the hearts of them all,
and observes all their deeds.
16  A king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17  The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
and by its great might it cannot save.
18  Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19  to deliver their soul from death,
and to keep them alive in famine.
20  Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and shield.
21  Our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22  Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Psalms 100
A Psalm of thanksgiving.
1    Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.
2      Worship the LORD with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
3   Know that the LORD is God
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4   Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5   For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalms 117
1    Praise the LORD, all you nations!
Extol him, all you peoples!
2   For great is his steadfast love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.
Praise the LORD!

Psalms 127
1    Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
2   It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved.
3   Sons are indeed a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4   Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
5   Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Psalms 128
1    Happy is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways.
2   You shall eat the fruit of the labor if your hands;
you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
3   Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4   Thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the LORD.
5   The LORD bless you from Zion.
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
6   May you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!

Psalms 136
1    O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2   O give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3   O give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
4   who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
5   who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
6   who spread out the earth on the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
7   who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
8   the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
9   the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
10  who struck Egypt through their firstborn,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
11  and brought Israel out from among them,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
12  with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
13  who divided the Red Sea in two,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
14  and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
15  but overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
16  who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
17  who struck down great kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
18  and killed famous kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
19  Sihon, king of the Amorites,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
20  and Og, king of Bashan,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
21  and gave their land as a heritage,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
22  a heritage to his servant Israel,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
23  It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
24  and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
25  who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
26  O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalms 150
1    Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty firmament!
2   Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3   Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4   Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5   Praise him with clanging cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6   Let everything that breathes praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!

Romans 12.1-2
1I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Corinthians 12.31-13.13
31But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

1If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast  but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Ephesians 5.21-33
21Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30because we are members of his body.?31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. 33Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

Matthew 19.4-6
4He answered, “Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.

John 2.1-10
1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

John 15.9-12
9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

12“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Ecclesiastes 4.9-12
9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ruth 1:16-17 
16But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17Where you die, I will die— there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

A reading from the Book of Tobit 8:4b-8
On their wedding night Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife,
“Sister, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord
to have mercy on us and to grant us deliverance.”
Sarah got up, and they started to pray
and beg that deliverance might be theirs.
They began with these words:
“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers;
praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race descended.
You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a partner like himself.’
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
not because of lust,
but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her,
and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
They said together, “Amen, amen.”
The word of the Lord.