Ribbons of connection and love

RIBBONS of Love is a book which celebrates marriage themes, blessings and art by Dr Elizabeth Peter-Ross, a psychiatrist and theologian. | SUPPLIED

RIBBONS of Love is a book which celebrates marriage themes, blessings and art by Dr Elizabeth Peter-Ross, a psychiatrist and theologian. | SUPPLIED

Published Feb 17, 2024


Durban — Ribbons of Love is an ode to the heart.

Dr Elizabeth Peter-Ross has dedicated her latest book to love and lovers, but it transcends literature: it’s a book where words and art form a beautiful union to complete each other.

The medical doctor and theologian says her book of marriage themes, blessings and art was inspired by the need of many couples to personalise their marriage celebration with unique rather than traditional vows.

Together with artist Annie Kruyer, the two have created a symphony of words, colours and emotions that tug at the heart. Each picture, each blessing, is a work of art and would look beautiful in a frame.

“The blessings give voice and expression to the core aspects of marriage common to all people whatever their nationality, creed, race or sexual orientation.

“The blessings emphasise the sacred element of their covenantal bond. These are conveyed largely by metaphors drawn from nature and cover those qualities and behaviours that make for an enduring marriage,” writes Peter-Ross.

Small enough to fit into a handbag and big enough to fill your heart, the book is composed of 25 themes, blessings and artworks that traverse everything that is sacred in a bond of love: celebration, commitment, creation, splendour, roots, faithfulness, illumination, protection, courage, heritage, nurture, covenant, home, haven, family, respect, trust, loyalty, gratitude, passion, intimacy, friendship, tranquillity, peace and blessing.

Peter-Ross says because ribbons have long been used to symbolise different human emotions and values, in this book different ribbons of love symbolise the varied aspects of enduring love.

“The interweaving of the ribbons seems to capture the joy and happiness of the day of celebration. Together, the ribbons augmented by the words of the blessings and the glowing colour and form of the illustrations suggest both the beauty and gravity of this avowal of lifelong love and the mystic transformative power of this moment.”

Ribbons of love: A Book of Marriage Themes, Blessings and Art is published by Healing Prayer Press, distributed and marketed by Blue Weaver and Helco Promotions. Designed by artist Karen Adamson, it retails for R250.

This golden swirl of ribbons and birds depicts the interconnectedness of relationships and represents commitment.


May this soul-gathering

Of family and friends, from near and afar

Pledge support for this sacred commitment

And offer gifts of truth and understanding,

Steadfastness and discernment.

May the witnesses

Of this binding be blessed.

In her depiction of the passion theme, artist Annie Kruyer shows two birds nesting and seemingly representing the yin-yang energy of interconnectedness.


May your touch and kiss

Meet your heart’s longing.

And may the angels of heaven

Dance between you,

As you serve each other.

May your giving and receiving

Bring joy and surprise.

Home is your sanctuary, a place to build dreams and memories. In this picture, artist Annie Kruyer places it over the heart, the centre of love.


May you build a home

Together creating a sanctuary,

Amidst the tensions of your lives.

And may your love be written

On the signpost of a welcoming door.

May your faith and dreams

Enter and always remain.

Respect is symbolised by an embracing couple with interconnected ribbons, similar but different, winding their way through the relationship.


May wisdom and knowledge fill you

So your words touch each other

With reverence and respect.

And may you be drawn towards each other

Gently and kindly.

May your tender embrace

Hold a rainbow of hope.

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