James Dillet Freeman was an American minister of the Unity Church. Of Cherokee and English/Irish descent, Freeman identified with Native American culture and was a prolific poet who explored the human condition, not only in his writing, but as a speaker. He wrote of life and loss, longing and fulfillment, tragedy and contentment.
Although it has been read at countless weddings, his ‘Blessing for a Marriage’ is so personal that it seems it was written especially for every couple who hears it:
“May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance and understanding.
May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not encircle one another. May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say “ I love you!” and take no notice of small faults.
If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more whimsical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.
May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it in loving one another.
James Dillet Freeman died in 2003, aged 91, yet his insight is ageless.