Minister : C
Reader Reading  #1: Minister
Reader Reading # 2: Minister's Assistant
Matron of Honour : Bride's Sister
Best Man (Bride's Son) -brings in element of water
Flower Girl Bride's Neice-brings in elelment of earth
Servers Bride's Nephews -brings in elelment of fire
-brings in element of air


Minister extends the greeting

Reading #1

Song of the Sun
By St. Francis of Assisi

Most High, Almighty,
Good Lord,
Thine be the praise,
The glory,
The honour,
And all blessing

Praise to Thee, my Lord,
For All Thy Creatures,
Above all Brother Sun
Who brings us the day
And lends us his light

Love is he, radiant
With great splendour,
And speaks to us of Thee,
O Most High

Praise to Thee, my Lord,
For Sister Moon
And the stars
Which Thou has set
In the heavens,
Clear, precious, and fair

Praise to Thee, my Lord,
For Brother Wind,
For air and cloud,
For calm and all weather,
By which Though
Supportest life
In all Thy creatures

Praise to Thee, my Lord
For Brother Fire,
By whom
Thou lightest the night;
He is lovely and pleasant
Mighty and strong

Praise to Thee, my Lord,
For Sister Water,
Who is
So useful and humble,
Precious and pure

Praise to Thee, my Lord,
For our sister
Mother Earth
Who sustains
And directs us,
And brings forth
Varied fruits
And coloured flowers.

Music

Bride and Groom approach from opposite directions to stand at the "altar". There they join hands and come forward and together face Minister.

Minister
O thou who approach this sacred time, are you properly prepared?

Groom and Bride
We are.

Minister
Then we do welcome thee.

Bride and Groom walk in front of the Arch

Minister
Ever does the wheel turn and through each of our lives we seek many things. One of those is to find our mate and if we are lucky it is so. So it is with Bride and Groom. Thus we gather today to celebrate with them as they commit one to the other and we witness the binding of their hands in the Light of their Love.

Thus it is and thus it has always been, that man and woman are created equal and in all things are equal. However, when man interfered with this equality in times past,  it was thought that if one married, the woman became the chattel of the man, bound to obey and be subservient in all things.  His wife was to protect and to provide for but never be as an equal. Now in our enlightened times, we know and attest the equality of all except in that which one lacks, the other redeems and that which they share, they share in abundance.

So it is that there be but three duties that we must acknowledge: To Love, to Respect, and to Honour.
These be the Mystery for without these three, there be naught but a husk, empty and devoid of Light.

Love, for without love there is no union and their children will be born into despair.
Love, for without love, the union has no base and so must surely fall.
Love, for without love, the nourishment which is each their due, shall be denied.

Respect is the key of freedom within their bonds, for each must acknowledge the individuality of the other and know that though they attest to each other, yet are they each responsible for their own decisions and their own opinions.

Honour is to rejoice in the light each of you brings into this world, as well as, to each others lives.

So these three it be and so are they challenged  No more is this seen than in their Love and never more than in the case of these two beloved here. Thus do we delight in their joining..

Matron of Honor takes Bride's bouquet.

Minister addresses the couple;

Bride, is it your wish that this Rite proceed and that your hand be joined with this man's?

Bride
It is.

Minister
Groom,  is it your wish that this Rite proceed and that your hand be joined with this woman's?

Groom
It is

Minister
Then as you have asked freely, so shall it be.


Reading #2

The institution of marriage was begun
that a man and a woman
might learn how to love
and, in loving, know joy;
that a man and a woman
might learn how to share pain and loneliness
and, in sharing, know strength;
that a man and a woman
might learn how to give
and, in giving know communion.

The institution of marriage was begun
that a man and a woman
might through their joy,
their strength, and their communion,
become creators of life itself.

Marriage is a high and holy state,
to be held
in honor
among all men and women.

Marriage is a low and common state,
to be built
of the stuff
of daily life.

Men and women are not angels, nor are they gods.
Love can become hatred;
joy, sorrow,
marriage, divorce.

But human beings are not condemned to failure.
Love can grow even in a real world.
The wounds of sorrow can be healed,
And new life built on the learning's of the old.

This is the reason for our gathering today:
to renew our faith
in the strength of hope
and the power of love.

by Kenneth W. Phifer


Minister
Groom, in the sight of the Gods and in the full Light of their truth, do you so vow to Love Bride and cherish Her, to honour her heart, to respect her being and to ever regard her in the Light of your Love. To care for her and provide for her needs all that you can, as long as you both shall live?

Groom
I shall and I shall also present to her my love and my pledge. May I never knowingly or willingly do such a thing to harm, nor grieve, her in any form or fashion. Accept this my jewel, as a token of my trust. Like its stones, may my love be as strong. Like its metal may our love be enduring. As precious as the gold it is made from, so precious are you to me.  Accept it my love, for that which is mine is yours.

(presents ring to Bride)

Bride
My Love, I accept your pledge, and your love, as I accept thy jewel. Know what is in my heart, as I know what is in thine. The magic of my will, of my love, shall ever be thine.

Minister
Bride, in the sight of the Gods and in the full Light of their truth, do you so vow? To Love Groom and cherish him, to honour his heart, to respect his being and to ever regard him in the Light of your Love. To care for him and provide for his needs all that you can, as long as you both shall live?

Bride
I shall and I shall also present to him my love and this pledge. May I never knowingly or willingly do such a thing to harm, nor grieve, him in any form or fashion. Accept this, my jewel, my treasure, as a token of my trust. Just as its bright gleam, may our love glow. Like the stone that it is its essence, may our love be as enduring. As precious as the gold it is made from, so precious are you to me.  Accept it my love, for that which is mine is yours.

(Presents Ring to Groom)

Groom
My Love, I accept your pledge and your love, as I accept thy jewel. Know what is in my heart, as I know what is in thine. The magic of my will, of my love, shall ever be thine.

Minister
So be it! Your Vows have now been heard by all. These rings, like your vows, are without beginning or end. Now placed, they represent a seal of your love and respect for each other. By your love have you so sworn and in the Light of Truth has it been witnessed.

Minister binds Bride and Groom's hands together  saying:
In the Light of the Gods, are you so bound, each to the other, unto all of your days.

Behold all here assembled, bear witness that Bride , daughter of Eugene and Jean and Groom son of  Richard and Joanne  this day made oath to each other and so are their hands fasted, each to the other unto the end of their days. But know too that with the binding of these two hearts a new family is formed. A family created of love and trust. One that consists of not just Bride and Groom but of David as well. At this time Bride and Groom would like to present a token for David.

David Steps Forward

Bride and Groom

David we love and cherish you and you too are a part of this union. Accept this ring as a reminder that we love you with out beginning or end for all time.
(present David with ring and he then steps back beside Groom again)

Minister takes the chalice and gives it to Bride and Groom saying:

This is your first drink together as man and wife. May you never thirst.

She then Offers Bread to couple to eat from saying

This is your first food together as man and wife. May you never hunger.

Matron of Honor takes the besom and places it on the ground.

Minister
And this will be your first act of working together as Husband and Wife.

Groom and Bride  jump the broom.

Minister
Rejoice and be merry! A new star adorns the heavens. As it is said, so shall it be and so it is done.

We thank the elements of life for their attendance this day/night and ask they go forth and herald this union. These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever they go, may they always return to one another in their togetherness. May these two find in each other, the love for which all men and women long. May they grown in understanding and in compassion. May the home that they establish be such a place of sanctuary for their family. And may their two rings symbolize the spirit of undying love in the hearts of both of them.


You may kiss.

This  handfasting took place on October 24, 1999. It was a legal ceremony that included about 100 guests-very few of which were pagan. The participants wanted a ceremony that was pagan but not too "in your face'," so to speak. This is a splicing several ceremonies that were found and the minister/high priestess suggested the poem below by St. Francis so that the Quarters would be called without being too obvious. The bride's nieces and nephews and  son brought in the elements as the Priestess spoke the words of the poem and it was truly lovely.

There was also included a "ceremony within a ceremony" as the bride and groom  welcomed the bride's son into their newly formed family. They both presented him with his own "wedding" ring at the time and in all honesty this was the one part of the ceremony that people loved the most. It was commented on by many of the guest afterward and they stated how much they thought of it and how wonderful that the bride' son was made a part of the ceremony in this way.
Clergy Services Provided By
Rev. Dr. Dawn Thebarge

A Handfasting
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