Goodridge v. Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health

Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society.

Marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. “It is an association that promotes a way of life, not causes; a harmony in living, not political faiths; a bilateral loyalty, not commercial or social projects.” Because it fulfils 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 was given to us by a couple whom we married. The beautiful essay is a redaction of many pages of the court decision.

Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass. 2003), was a landmark state appellate court case dealing with same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. The November 18, 2003, decision was the first by a U.S. state’s highest court to find that same-sex couples had the right to marry. The first legal same-sex marriage occured in Massachusetts in July 2004.

Charlie and Cheryl Cavalconte

“LOVE” A Poem by Roy Croft

by Roy Croft

I love you
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.

I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help dimly seeing there,
And drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quiet far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life,
Not a tavern but a temple,
Out of the works of my everyday,
Not a reproach but a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.

You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it by being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,

We first encountered this piece many years ago as an anonymous poem set adrift on the internet separated from it’s author. Then, as we rummaged around we were very happy to discover that Roy Croft wrote “LOVE”  in the 1950’s. It speaks for itself why so many couples choose this poem for a reading at their celebration.


Charlie and Cheryl Cavalconte

“Love Is A Temporary Madness

“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.
That is just being ‘in love,’ which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both art and a fortunate accident.
Your roots grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty petals have fallen from your branches, you will find that you are one tree and not two.
From Corelli’s Mandolin

This essay is from the book. The couple who first shared this reading with us, and who subsequently used it in their ceremony, met in a creative writing class. Every aspect of their ceremony was about words, writing, language and the images created by well chosen and woven words.

Charlie and Cheryl Cavalconte

Love Is Friendship That Has Caught Fire.

“Love” by William Shakespeare

Love is friendship that has caught fire.
It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving.
It is loyalty through good and bad.
It settles for less than perfection,
and makes allowances for human weakness.
Love is content with the present.
It hopes for the future and does not brood over the past.
It is the day in and day out chronicle of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals.
If you have love in your life,
it can make up for a great many things you lack.
If you do not have it, no matter what else there is,
it is not enough,
so search for it, ask God for it, and share it.

At least from what we have heard and from some research, this is from The Bard.

Some others have noted it as anonymous.

Regardless, we love this poem. Wonderful for any relationship, but especially for one that is mature.


Charlie and Cheryl Cavalconte

A Reading: From “Song of the Open Road”

Walt Whitman Reading   From “Song of the Open Road”

I do not offer the old smooth prizes,

but offer rough new prizes;

These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is called riches,

You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.

However sweet these laid up stores,

however convenient this dwelling,

you shall not remain here.

However sheltered this port,

and however calm these waters,

you shall not anchor here.

However welcome this hospitality that surrounds you,

you are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before you,

The long brown path before you, leading wherever you choose.

You have only to say to one another:

I give you my hand!

I give you my love, more precious than money,

I give you myself before preaching or law:

Will you give me yourself?

Will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Charlie and Cheryl Cavalconte