Christian/Pagan Handfasting Ceremony

Priest/ess:
We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of (bride’s name) and (groom’s name). There are many things to say about marriage. Much wisdom concerning the joining together of two souls has come our way through all paths of belief, and from many cultures. With each union, more knowledge is gained and more wisdom gathered. Though we are unable to give all this knowledge to these two who stand before us today, we can hope to leave them with the knowledge of love and its strengths and the anticipation of the wisdom that comes with time. 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, 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 ups and its downs, its trials and its triumphs. With full understanding of this, Groom and Bride have come here today to be joined as one in marriage.

Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but as a woman is not property to be bought and sold, given and taken, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family’s blessing.

Bride’s Name, is true that you come of your own free will and accord?

Bride: Yes, it is true.

Priest/ess: With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you.

Father: She comes with me, her father, and is accompanied by all of her family’s blessings.

Priest/ess: Please join hands with your beloved and listen to that which I am about to say.

Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, as time doth pass remember:

Like a stone your love be firm; like a star should your love be constant. Let the powers of the mind and of the intellect guide you in your marriage, let the strength of your wills bind you together, let the power of love and the desire make you happy, and the strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not to close. Possess one another, yet be understanding. Have patience with the other, for storms will come and will pass quickly again.

Be free in giving affection and warmth. Have no fear and let not the ways of the unenlightened give you discomfort, for God/dess is with you always.

Groom’s Name, I have not the right to bind thee to Bride’s Name, only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring on her hand. (Place ring on bride’s left hand ring finger).

Groom: It is my wish.

Priest/ess: Bride’s Name, if it be your wish for Groom’s Name to be bound to you, place the ring on his finger. (Place ring on groom’s left hand ring finger).

Bride: It is my wish.

Priest/ess: To Groom

Repeat after me? I, (groom’s name), in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee (bride’s name) to my hand, my heart, and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess three, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without reservation, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.

Priest/ess: To Bride

Repeat after me? I, (bride’s name), in the name of the spirit of God that resides within us all, by the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, take thee (groom’s name) to my hand, my heart, and my spirit, to be my chosen one. To desire thee and be desired by thee, to possess thee, and be possessed by thee, without sin or shame, for naught can exist in the purity of my love for thee. I promise to love thee wholly and completely without reservation, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love again. I shall not seek to change thee in any way. I shall respect thee, thy beliefs, thy people, and thy ways as I respect myself.

Priest/ess: (Hands groom chalice filled with wine)

You may drink your fill from the cup of love.

Groom holds chalice to bride while she sips then bride takes chalice and holds it to groom while he sips. The chalice is then handed back to the Priest/ess who sets it on the table. Next the Priest/ess takes the plate of bread, giving it to the groom. Same procedure repeated with bread, groom feeding bride and bride feeding groom.

By the power vested in me by God and the State of (name State), I now pronounce you husband and wife. May your love so endure that its flame remains a guiding light unto you both.

You may kiss the bride.
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Please feel free to use any part of this ceremony as part of your own. Vikki Anderson is available to perform interfaith ceremonies such as weddings, baptisms, welcoming ceremonies as well as naming and handfasting ceremonies.  See http://www.VikkiAnderson.net under Interfaith Minister for more information about ceremonies and weddings.  973-492-3110.

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