Handfastings

Contact Rev. Lyon about a handfasting

This is the ceremony used by Rev. Lyon.

Introduction

On behalf of ______________and ____________, I would like to thank you all for coming and the effort you have taken to make this day truly memorable. _____________and _____________have decided to follow the ancient tradition of a handfasting. The tradition is as old as written language. The term handfasting comes from the old custom of formally uniting a couple by binding their hands together with a silken rope. This is where the terms giving ones hand in marriage and tying the knot comes from. Other ancient rituals involved wedding cakes. These cakes were made of grain and were symbolic of fertility and abundance.

A wedding drink popular among the Britons and the Celts was a drink called meade. Meade is a rich ale made from honey. Our modern term "honeymoon" is believed to have derived from the combination of the word honey from the meade and moon as the approximate period of time that must elapse between Beltan and a time when a handfasting could take place. Today you will be witnessing some of the ancient customs.

We have come together here in celebration of the spiritual union of _________and ____________. The law of life is: Love unto all beings. Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to life, posterior to death, the initial of creation and the exponent of earth. If we learn no more in life, let it be this.

Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its up and downs, its trials and triumphs. With full understanding of this, _______and ___________have come here today to be joined as one in marriage by this sacred handfasting.

Minister calls the Quarters

Bridal Attendants light the candles

As we light the White candle, know that it represents the element of air and symbolizes the power of thought, communication and knowledge.
The red candle represents the elements of fire and symbolizes the power of passion, energy and vitality.
The blue candle represents the element of water and symbolizes feeling, emotions, and cycles.
The green candle represents the Earth and symbolizes solidarity, manifestations, and possessions.

Minister blesses the bowl of water by holding the knife over the bowel and saying
Blessings be upon this water.
Blessings be upon the salt
Minister scoops salt into bowel of water then sprinkle salt water in clockwise direction
I summon the circle, the circle I summon and bind to the womb our spiritual birth through air and fire, water and earth.

We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of this couple........ The law of life is love unto all beings. Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption. Love is anterior to Life, posterior to Death, the initial of Creation and the exponent of Earth. If we learn no more in life, let it be this.

You are about to enter into a bond that should only be entered into with considerable thought and reflection. As with any aspect of life, this bond will have its cycles, its ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, you have come have come here today to be joined by a sacred handfasting. The tradition we follow is as old as any written language.

Minister calls the Quarters: Turning to the East: "Spirits of the east whose element is air, give your blessings to ______and_______who are about to be handfasted. Grant to their union your gifts of communication, wisdom and understanding."

Turning to the South: Spirits of the South whose element is fire, give your blessings to _______________and___________who are about to be handfasted. Grant to their union your gifts of vitality, passion and creativity."

Turning to the West: Spirits of the West whose element is water, give your blessings to ______________and_____________ who are about to be handfasted. Grant to their union your gifts of love, intuition and friendship."

Turning to the North:"Spirits of the North whose element is earth, give your blessings to ________and________who are about to be handfasted. Grant to their union your gifts of stability, strength and abundance."

At the Center:

Now we stand in the center of the circle, where all things meet their opposites; goodness and evil, darkness and light, spirit and matter, that which makes each whole and complete, just as ______________and_________________are about to join as one spirit. For the time that we gather here, let this place be free of all outside influence, of all resentment, and of all negativity. It is _____________(date and phase of moon), and what that phase of the moon will bring) Example: the beginning of the new moon. It is a time of conservation of energy, healing and dreaming. We have past the summer solstice and soon will begin facing long dark nights. Each of us has gone through their own dark and long nights; May this couple no longer face the darkness alone but rather find in each other the strength and light we seek when we turn toward the sun after our own dark times.

____________and_____________is it your intent to be joined now and forever, in this life and in all that follow?"

Couple says "It is."

Minister says "So be it."

Will you share each other's laughter and seek joy in life and in each other?

Couple says "Yes."

Minister : "Will you share life's burdens between you so that neither is overcome?"

Couple says "Yes."

Minister "Will you share each other's dreams and by dreaming together, explore what you might accomplish together?"

Couple says "Yes."

Minister "No couple goes through life without becoming angry from time to time. Will your anger become a forge to temper and strengthen your bond, or a furnace to burn it and melt it away?"

Couple says "A forge."

Minister: "Will you seek to never betray the trust you have in each other, lest you plant the seeds of doubt, which may grow and rend apart the love that you share?"

Couple says "Yes"

On the altar are a cake, a cake knife and two chalices filled with meade. Cake and mead is given to Bride and Groom.

Minister : May your life be filled with sweetness.

Minister : Can you face the fact that you may cause each other pain?

Couple answer "Yes."

Minister: Hands each a lancet. Each pricks the others left palm.

Minister So as you have done, may you never do again. But should you do so, seek comfort from each other, for left untreated, a wound will only fester.

Minister to attendants. Now we will pass the cord around the circle. So that each of you can bless it with your good wishes for _________and___________. Let no one wish them ill or it will return three-fold.

Before me, ___________and_________have sworn vows to each other. With this cord I bind them to the vows that they each have made.

Minister takes the couple's left hands in hers, places them together and binds them with the cord.

So witnessed, by blood you are joined and by blood, your union is sealed. These promises you have made by the sun and the moon, by fire and water, by day and night, by land and sea. With these vows you swear, to be full partners, each to the other.

Vows: Spoken in turn:

Repeat after me:"This day, I pledge my love to you forever. "Body to body, heart to heart, soul to soul, life to life, I give to you everything that I am and ever will be. I promise to be ever faithful and to do my best to always meet your needs. I swear my abiding support for you, through whatever comes our way. I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night, and the eyes into which I smile in the morning. I shall be a shield for your back, and you for mine. I shall not slander you, nor you me. I shall honor you above all others. "I love you with all my heart, soul, and everything I am... for always, forever, from this life to the next and all that may come after.

Ring Exchange:

Minister:Your bond is bless-ed, but even so, incomplete. You cannot be at all times together physically. [Cord is removed]

Minister : How then, will you be bound, when this is the case?"

Couple "We shall wear rings."

Minister : Because a circle is endless, a ring is the symbol of undying love. The third finger of the left hand was chosen long ago when it was thought to be connected directly to the heart by a vein of love. May I have the rings? ___________repeat after me:

___________, "I give you this ring, knowing that to it is bound my heart. Wear it always when you are away, so that I may never forget that we are together. Wear it for me, so that even in the direst of storms, I need not fear for your safety, so long as in my heart I know that you love me still. With this ring, I thee wed."

_________ repeat after me: __________ "I give you this ring, knowing that to it is bound my heart. Wear it always when you are away, so that I may never forget that we are together. Wear it for me, so that even in the direst of storms, I need not fear for your safety, so long as in my heart I know that you love me still. With this ring, I thee wed."

Minister: "It is done. So mote it be."

Minister:"Thank you, guardians of the North, South, East and West, for your blessings and your attendance. We bid you hail and farewell."

Now that _____________and____________have consented together to abide in peace and love, have given themselves to each other by their solemn pledges, and declared the same before me, I declare that they are husband and wife and their spirits shall be together forever more.(this is used for a legal handfasting. The wording will be changed for a binding ceremony)

Minister to Groom: ______________you may kiss the your bride.

_____________and___________jump the broom.

Tina's and Jason's handfasting