Traditional Handfasting Ceremony

Time: Best performed at the time of the new moon.

Setting: The usual setting for this ritual area is many types of flowers of your choice, particularly the favorites of the couple, and roses. The altar should be arranged as usual, plus 2 white candles, incense of a flower scent, and a willow wand. Dress is up to the bridal couple. Celtic tradition is that the bride where some sort of veiling or netting and an article of scarlet. The couple should bring wedding rings and a small symbolic gift for each other. The priest/ess fit’s the rings over the willow wand, and then lays them on the altar.

After the lighting of the candles and incense, the priest/ess face the gathering with their backs toward the altar.

Priest/ess: May the place of this rite be consecrated for the Gods. For we gather here in a ritual of love with two who would be wedded. Name of Bride and Name of Groom, please come forward and stand here before us, and before the gods of nature.

The couple comes forward and stands before the Priest/ess.

Priest/ess:
Be with us here, O beings of the Air
With your clever fingers
Tie closely the bonds between these two.

Be with us here, O beings of Fire
Give their love and passion
Your own all-consuming ardor

Be with us here, O beings of Water
Give them the deepest of love
And the richness of the body, of the soul and of the spirit.

Be with us here, O beings of Earth
Let your strength and constancy
Be theirs for so long as they desire
To remain together.
Blessed Goddess and Laughing God
Give to these before you, we do ask
Your love and protection.
Blessed Be.

All: Blessed Be.

Priest/ess:
Holds up the wand with the rings upon it.

Place your right hands Over this wand and your rings – his hand over hers.

Below you are the stones
As time does pass
Remember,
Like a star should your love be constant
Like a stone should your love be firm
Be close, but not too close
Posses one another, but be understanding
Have patience each with the other
For storms will come, but they will go quickly
Be free in the giving of affection and warmth
Make love often, and be sensuous with one another
Have no fear and let not the ways or words
Of the unenlightened give you unease.
For the Goddess and the God are with you,
Now and Always.

Priest/ess:
Is it your wish (bride’s name) to become one with this man?

Bride: Yes, it is my wish.

Is it your wish (groom’s name) to become one with this woman?

Groom: Yes, it is my wish.

Exchange of Rings.

Then as the Goddess and the God and the Old Ones Are witness to this rite I now proclaim you husband and wife.

A kiss is appropriate at this time and the tokens may be exchanged.

This is also the time when you can jump over the broom indicating leaving a single life to a lifetime of love together as man and wife.

The ceremony is then over and the cakes on the altar should be served at the celebration that follows.

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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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