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Love and Death: Readings for Weddings and Funerals about Space and the Universe

This month I decided to get mystical thinking about space and the universe. As you can imagine, stars feature in both love and death, but we also have those other heavenly bodies too! The music was really fun to find too and I went for a mixture of very introspective, link to the characteristics of planets and then mentions of stars and things in the lyrics. Listen back on Mixcloud!



There Is A New Star Shining In The Sky Tonight by Sarah Hartwell

There is an old belief that the stars shining in the night sky are the spirits of those who have died. They have shed their earthly bodies and exchanged them for bodies made of light; thousands upon thousands of our dear departed friends all promoted to glory in the night sky. There is another saying that the brightest flame burns the shortest…


Galactic Love poem by Adrian Henri

Warm your feet at the sunset

Before we go to bed

Read your book by the light of Orion

With Sirius guarding your head

Then reach out and switch off the planets

We'll watch them go out one by one

You kiss me and tell me you love me

By the light of the last setting sun

We'll both be up early tomorrow

A new universe has begun


To Summarise a Galaxy By Beyza Ozer

how do I show you love when it is not attached to a video of me putting a nail to a balloon on loop? when a heart beats fast this is what I imagine. something too fast to see happen / too loud to forget & from here, the ground, we are beginning to look like lightning or the frameworks of buildings too far away or the line where the lake meets the sky. you are every 1996 space exploration gone right & I am waiting for you to come home with a backpack filled with moon rock & stardust to keep around our apartment. we find small jars to hide behind our pillows & fill every corner with something only we have touched / the rest in our cat’s fur. you remind me of something like a firefly underneath my tongue with so much spark I am finally able to live out my dream of becoming some sort of lighthouse even though sometimes I fall back into a dark galaxy of faults. it isn’t always possible to jam sharp stars into the round holes of us. I want to tell you that SpaceX named a platform for rockets to land on  Just Read the Instructions & another Of Course I Still Love You & wouldn’t it be nice to be still in the water for once


To Jane: The Keen Stars Were Twinkling by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I.

The keen stars were twinkling,

And the fair moon was rising among them,

Dear Jane.

The guitar was tinkling,

But the notes were not sweet till you sung them

Again.


II.

As the moon's soft splendour

O'er the faint cold starlight of Heaven

Is thrown,

So your voice most tender

To the strings without soul had then given

Its own.


III.

The stars will awaken,

Though the moon sleep a full hour later

To-night;

No leaf will be shaken

Whilst the dews of your melody scatter

Delight.


IV.

Though the sound overpowers,

Sing again, with your dear voice revealing

A tone

Of some world far from ours,

Where music and moonlight and feeling

Are one.


Venus, or Maybe Mercury by Robin Shectman

The evening star, that is not a star,

comes out, but was there all the time,

over the sunset, that is really

the earth’s turning;

and this is what we wish on:

may things be what they are not,

may blessings uncover themselves,

may we be restored to our rightful place

in the centre of things,

the sky inflamed with our desires,

crowded with messengers

anxious to carry them out.


Requiem by Robert Louis Stevenson

Under the wide and starry sky,

Dig the grave and let me lie.

Glad did I live and gladly die,

And I laid me down with a will

This be the verse you grave for me:

Here he lies where he longed to be;

Home is the sailor, home from sea,

And the hunter home from the hill.


The Sombre Astronomer by Michael Humphries

You said to look to the night skies

For there is no other love so resolute

Than the feelings we grow for others;

They are never absolute.

So jealously I stare at the stars

But you are all I see;

For they are where your heart resides

And where I long to be.


The Stars Have Called You Home by Donna Ashworth

The stars have called you home, love.

Up high, so far away.

I think they missed your brilliance,

they just couldn’t let you stay.


You’ve shone that light of yours, love.

on all the lives you touched.

We’ve known your joy for years and years,

I guess they thought ‘enough’.


They need your light up there now.

This world grows ever dark.

Your passion will rain down like love,

dripped into every heart.


The stars have called you home, now

we’ll miss you, every day.

And every night we’ll scour the skies,

to watch you, where you lay.


And when dark clouds are gathering,

and air’s too cold to breathe.

The life you lived will warm our bones,

and your star will help us see..


Universe By Steven Schnur

Up beyond the

Night sky, an

Indigo darkness like

Velvet

Embraces the farthest

Reaches of the mind,

Sun, moon, stars,

Everything.


Venus BY D. NURKSE

Death is coming

and you must build a starship

to take you to Venus.


Make it from a catsup bottle,

a flashlight coil,

a penny, the cat’s bell,

Mom’s charm bracelet.


They say that planet is torment,

whipped by circular wind,

choked in vitriol clouds.


But no. When you get there

it is a light in the sky

and I am with you.


If you find nothing else,

borrow the pleated wing

of a winter moth,

lighter than dust.


Stargazing by Glyn Maxwell

The night is fine and dry. It falls and spreads

the cold sky with a million opposites

that, for a moment, seem like a million souls

and soon, none, and then, for what seems a long time,

one. Then of course it spins. What is better to do

than string out over the infinite dead spaces

the ancient beasts and spearmen of the human

mind, and, if not the real ones, new ones?


But, try making them clear to one you love –whoever is standing by you is one you love

when pinioned by the stars — you will find it quite

impossible, but like her more for thinking

she sees that constellation.


After the wave of pain, you will turn to her

and, in an instant, change the universe

to a sky you were glad you came outside to see.


This is the act of all the descended gods

of every age and creed: to weary of all

that never ends, to take a human hand,

and go back into the house.


The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

I will love you forever; whatever happens. Till I die and after I die, and when I find my way out of the land of the dead, I’ll drift about forever, all my atoms, till I find you again. I’ll be looking for you, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you. We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams. And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me.


Come back every second Tuesday of the month on Voices Radio for more fun music selections and readings you might use for weddings or funerals. You can also listen back to this show and others on Mixcloud.

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