(Wedding Ceremony)
Frederick Douglas Harper

In this, my left hand, I take you as my wife/husband
And hold sacred your life and welfare as long as we
Choose and hold each other;
With my right hand, I promise to work for you,
With you, and for life we may create as one;
In both hands, I cup and nourish the trust we place
In each other as persons and in ourselves as a
Partnership in life.

With this heart, I set forth my allegiance to a sensitivity
For your feelings, and pledge to put no other person's
Needs or wants before your own;
With will and determination, I shall do my best to remain
Patient with your weaknesses as well as your personal
Changes over the years, and I will hold in confidence that
You will do likewise with me;
With this, my head, I will think of you wherever I am
And whenever I can as thoughts of concern for you and
Shared experiences with you.

I pledge at this moment to do all I can:
To help minimize your pains and maximize your happiness,
To forgive you for inadvertent errors of human frailty,
To respect you as a person and as my wife/husband,
To be open with you about my thoughts and feelings,
To touch you each morning and kiss you each night,

To trust in your words and actions,
To be kind, courteous, and considerate to you,
To respect your right to freedom, solitude, and
To commit myself totally to you and our relationship.

I will try my best not to hurt you in any way or discredit
You before peers or yourself;
I will encourage your personal growth and internal peace,
I will allow no person to conspire to alienate my love for you;
Neither will I allow myself to be blinded by false
Feelings for another or life's many luring excitements;
I will talk with you, walk with you, and persevere with you
Through tests of time and condition;
I will pray with you, hope with you, struggle with you,
And suffer with you in your hardships;

Most of all, I will love you, without condition, for as long
As I can and as long as you want me to—
Hoping and trusting it will be forever.

Harper, F. D. (2004). Poems on love and life (2nd ed.). Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse. (Original work published 1985)


(Mother's Day)
Frederick Douglas Harper

There is nothing you can say,
That is enough to thank your mother;
There is nothing you can do,
That is enough to thank your mother.
A mother is a trustee of God’s seed,
A sacred temple of life;
A mother’s touch cannot be duplicated,
Her comforting voice is never replicated.
A mother’s greatest gift is the gift of life,
Her highest status is that of motherhood.
No matter what else a mother might be,
No matter what a mother does—
A mother is a mother.
Thanks Mom; I love you.

Harper, F. D. (2008). Beyond Fear. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse.


(Mother's Day)
By Dr. Frederick Douglas Harper

Let’s not forget so easily
The hands that cared for us in youth—
That rocked us to sleep,
Prepared our lunch for school,
Pressed a shirt, skirt, jeans,
Or a dress for wear;
The hands that cared for us in sickness,
Soothed the tears from our eyes,
Turned the pages of a book as we
Learned to read;

Let’s not forget the hands that hugged us
As pain was kissed away—the same
Kind hands that placed food in our mouths;

So kneel and yield to your mother’s presence
Or spirit’s remain,
And say, “Thank you mother on
This day of celebration or on any and
Every day of my appreciation.”

Harper, F. D. (2007). Transitions in life and to death. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse.


(Funeral or Memorial Service)
Frederick Douglas Harper

When I come to the end of my journey,
I will not falter in the face of my curtain’s
Fall, or exit from the stage of my destined

When I come to the end of my road
Shown clear, I will face death’s claim
Without due fear, and look back, yes,
On a life well done, I will beacon
My spirit toward the light of the sun.

When I come to the end of this life’s work,
I will smile in peace as I journey from
Earth; and all who would mourn me, I will
Bid them farewell, and trust in my heart,
They knew that I cared.

And when that day comes afar and not
Nearly, I hope to be in the company of
Those I love dearly; and with hands on
My loved ones and eyes toward my God,
I’ll ascend from my body and head toward
The stars.

With faith in the future and good
Thoughts about the past, I will trust
That God’s work will continue to last;
And as light will lead my soul to a
Place unknown, it is believed that God’s
Work for me will continue to be done.

Harper, F. D. (2003). God’s gifts: Spiritual writings. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse.


(Father's Day)
Frederick Douglas Harper

Great God of all, humble us as men before
Your omnipresent Spirit, and accept us as
The seeds of Your precious human life;
Lower our heads to honor You in praise—
For Your divine creations of us and all that
Stems sacred from You.
As grandfathers, fathers, and keepers of life,
We beg of You dear God to accept our
Prayerful thanks for the good You allow us to
Do and attempt to do for and with our sons,
In trying to help them to become worthy men in
Your sight and worthy travelers of Your path.
We pray that You will open our hearts to the
Way of humility, and temper the arrogance and
Anger that arise in us from time to time;
Dear God, bless our hands to create for
Good, and condemn the hands of destruction
That can drive us to ways of ill will.
Teach us, we implore, to honor Your name
By honoring our women as the very sacred
Temples of Your life reproduced; teach us
To raise our young in the ways of right,
And in the way of a deference for their elders
Who care for them and care about them.
Teach us the way of honesty and hard work,
And guide us in Your light of responsibility,
Love, self-pride, and decency; teach us to love,
Respect, and care for our families; teach us to
Respect worthy others as we should respect
Ourselves, to love worthy others as we should
Love ourselves, and to abhor greed and selfishness.

Our dear God, we beg of you to
Purge the war-like urge to slay from our very
Souls, and lead us to ways of rightness as role
Models for our daughters and sons who
Look up to us; we pray to You dear God
To remind us as men to love our fathers and
Our grandfathers, and to honor the men who helped
Us to become men; always make us mindful to
Remember those men who perished before us—
By accident, battle of war, or other circumstance.
Direct our hearts and spirits toward a way of
Tolerance and benevolence, and away from that
Of intolerance, hatred, and wrongful destruction;
Teach us, from day to day, to trust, appreciate, and
Work with our fellow brothers toward survival and
Security for ourselves, our families, and the global
Community in which we live.
Make us ever mindful to respect and love our
Daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and
Other dear loved ones.
Give us the courage to live for good cause, and
Not to kill or die as an excuse for pain and power;
Oh God, give us the wisdom to do right and the
Courage and good strength to do our best;
Shear and sear all evil from the marrow of our
Bones, and endear our souls, minds, and muscles
To a way of caring for all life and a righteous
Giving of ourselves.
In Your precious name and spirit, as men,
We humbly pray.

FROM: Harper, F. D. (2003). God’s gifts: Spiritual writings. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse, pages 20-22.


(Child’s Birthday, Baptism, or Bar Mitzvah)
Frederick Douglas Harper

Be true to your eyes, ears, thoughts, and feelings;
Listen to your heart but yield to your mind’s best Judgment;
Be kind and wise in spoken words, for surely your Words will follow you;
Be not afraid of risks but be cautious of actions
Driven by emotion, confusion, and false friends;
Avoid jealousy of others’ achievements and possessions;
Don’t live with an insatiable greed for more than
You can appreciate or use;
Don’t eat more than your hunger’s call or drink Beyond your thirst’s needs;
Listen to spirits that favor you and offend not
Those that oppose you;
Absorb yourself in an activity worthy of your unique Talent, and develop as many common
Potentialities as you desire and can;
Whatever you do, do it as well as you can;
Live comfortably with your conscience,
And be at peace with your soul;
Be courageous in life, while always respecting
Death’s luring and lurking;
Rest when tired and think when you are uncertain;
Be kind to the sacredness of life and respect the
Natural order of the universe;
Follow no one or no thing except your own judgment
And your own God’s wish;
Love and respect yourself and your family;
Be all you can by developing yourself;
Do all you can in helping worthy others;
And live a quality and meaningful life.

From: Harper’s Poems on Love and Life (1985, 2004) and reprinted as “Advice to the Young” in Harper’s Poems for Young People (2004).


(Baby Shower)
Frederick Douglas Harper

God as Whole, God of us all;
God of our angelic spirits known;
Accept our appreciation on
This occasion as celebration of life;
The most precious gift from You.

Teach us to realize our purpose as we live;
To create and nourish life itself, and
To grow and give of ourselves.
Accept so humbly our gratitude of
Daily gifts from You:
The air we breathe, the water we drink,
And the food that nourishes us.
Bless our love as Your union,
And accept our thanks for Your gift
Of ourselves to each other;
Bless the life we have created in
Our baby, and guide this life
As Your unique gift.

Bless all our loved ones who are here today—
Each as Your unique creation, all as
Special people whom we value in life;
Bless the children here and those who
Care for them.
In Your very precious name we offer this prayer,


Harper, F. D. (2003). God’s gifts: Spiritual writings. Bloomington, IN: Authorhouse.