The Power of Love BY Kenneth W. Phifer

The institution of marriage was begun

that a man and a woman

might learn how to love

and, in loving, know joy;

that a man and a woman

might learn how to share pain and loneliness

and, in sharing, know strength;

that a man and a woman

might learn how to give

and, in giving know communion.

The institution of marriage was begun

that a man and a woman

might through their joy,

their strength, and their communion,

become creators of life itself.

Marriage is a high and holy state,

to be held

in honor

among all men and women.

Marriage is a low and common state,

to be built

of the stuff

of daily life.

Men and women are not angels, nor are they gods.

Love can become hatred;

joy, sorrow,

marriage, divorce.

But human beings are not condemned to failure.

Love can grow even in a real world.

The wounds of sorrow can be healed,

And new life built on the learnings of the old.

This is the reason for our gathering today:

to renew our faith

in the strength of hope

and the power of love.