To Have and To Hold


Hi friends – I’ve been off the blog for quite some time. Amazingly, I still see that people like Love Covers All from time to time. Please leave a comment about what post(s) you have enjoyed. What are you reading? What blesses you?

Today I am putting out some thoughts about weddings because I’m quite involved this year with wedding season. I am now an organist/pianist at a local church and we’re having two weddings in June and another at the end of the summer. One of my younger friends just got married, and two more have just announced engagements as well. This post is especially for the June couples: Kim and John, Donna and Bill, Wendy and Jonathan.

It falls to me to give the brides and grooms at church some suggestions and advice for the service music they choose. One of the pieces I show them is This is the Day by Scott Wesley Brown. He’s written lyrics that reference both Scripture and the traditional wedding vows in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. Before modern versions of vows started appearing, as well as vows written by the bride and groom, countless couples began their married life by saying, “I take thee to my wedded husband (or wife), to have and to hold from this day forward.”

This is the Day touches on this. “To have you, to hold you, to love you, to pray / To share with, to care with, to hold hands and say: / This is the day that the Lord hath made / and I will rejoice with you.” I got to thinking about “to have and to hold”. What did I really know about that? To me it had been just something to repeat before getting to the promises that are well understood: “for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish….”

What does the vow to have someone mean, really? Is it only for them to be at your disposal to help you in all you do? Is it that you have them to call upon to always have your back? I think it goes deeper. To have could mean that they open every part of their lives to you, all their joys and hurts, working toward total transparency with nothing held back. You have all that they are, down to the deepest level. As a married person it would be a work in progress for all your married life. Which leads to the scarier question: what would it mean for someone to wholly have you? To give your life, transparent and open, to your spouse?

“To hold” presents yet another challenge. It may not seem so in the honeymoon period, but later on, even being available at all times for a physical hug can be a big commitment. But again, this is more. This is saying you will hold your spouse and their deepest feelings close in your heart. It means that you will embrace them and surround them with your prayers. And again, can you let them hold you that close? Can you be so open that they can totally hold you?

I imagine that the more someone meditates on this, the deeper it goes. The song continues, “Love’s mystery is unfolding today”. Like a flower, the petals are beginning to open from the tightly wrapped bud, the tightly held inner selves that we so tend to be. “Love’s mystery” is calling us to deeper, lifelong mysteries to be shared with each other.

It occurred to me that just seeking out what it means to have and to hold our spouse, and allowing our spouses to truly have and hold us, could keep couples so busy and so deeply involved with each other that many of the other problems that plague marriages would simply melt away.

I am including a link to This is the Day here. I invite you to hear the deeper meaning this time, and enjoy a lifetime that makes “to have and to hold” a reality for both of you.

Categories : Music


  1. Henri says:

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    one thing that I think I’d never understand. It seems too complex and extremely extensive
    for me. I’m taking a look forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the grasp of

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