Handfasting Ritual

Lady Ardane

Our tradition (Fam. Trad.) uses a lovely ceremony I will post here. You may use any or all of it that pleases you.

Our bride wears white with red Witches cord at waist, groom wears red with white Witches cord. There is a procession led by the High Priestess bearing the wand, and the High Priest carrying the bells. The bride and groom are escorted by two pages. At altar the Hps. lights candles (red & white) and Incense (Rose & Frankincense). After charging the circle the High priestess who officiates says: We gather here this Night (day) to bind together this man and woman in a ritual of love. Let all who stand within this circle be here of their own free will and accord in peace and love. We charge this Circle to be filled with love. May this sacred space be consecrated before the Gods and Goddesses and may it be a Guardian and Protection for the work we do this night (day). Let (name)and(name) stand here before us and in the Presence of the Ancient Ones.

Hps goes to the East: Be with us here oh Spirits of the Air With your breath of life, join the bonds between these two and tie them tightly.

South: Be with us here oh Beings of Fire. Give their love and passion your own all consuming ardor.

West: Be with us here of Beings of Water. Grant these two the deepest of love richness of body, soul and spirit.

North: Be with us here, oh Spirits of Earth, Let your strength and constancy be theirs for as long as they desire to be together.

Blessed Goddess and Laughing God, look with joy on this Union of this man and this woman. Grant them harmony and beauty in their lives and let them be always mindful of their commitment, one to the other. Let them so live together that their joy of each other will be a shining beacon for all to see. Give to these two your love and protection. SMIB.

The Priest and Priestess each hold an end of the wand and place the rings on it. The B&G each place their right hand over the rings on the wand. The Hps says: Above you the Stars Below you the stones. As time passes remember this; Like a stone your love should be firm, Be close, yet not so close that you restrict one another. Possess one another yet grant each other freedom to grow. Be understanding and compassionate. Have patience with each other, for storms may come, but they will quickly go. Be free in giving warmth and affection, make love often and be sensuous to one another. Fear not lest the ways or words of the unenlightened give you unease, for the God and Goddess are with you now and always. To the bride: Is it you wish to become one with this man? To the groom, Is it your wish to become one with this woman? Take the charged rings from the wand and hand them to each in turn. As they place the rings on each other they say: Let this circle of Gold reflect the circle in which we stand to be a constant reminder of the pledges exchanged. Let it remind us daily of the wheel of life and the unbroken cycles of eternity. The B & G drink out of the Chalice as the HPS says...As you share this cup this night(day) so may you share your lives and fortunes. The B&G remove their Witches cords and hand them to the HPs who asks the B&G to face each other and hold hands. She then binds their hands with the cords and says...As we bind together this man and this woman with these cords let their fates and future be so bound. May they hold fast to each other, even as they are now held fast. Hps removes cords and hands them to the pages. Hps says: As the God and Goddess and the Ancient Ones are witness to these rites I now proclaim you to be wed, one to the other. SMIB. (Here the B & G kiss).

The HPS goes to each of the four corners dismissing the elements in turn by saying: We dismiss you now, Oh spirits of air (earth, fire, water,) and ask you to return to your elemental home harming none as you go and taking with you our thanks for your attendance.

And then at altar,: Dear Lady, Mother of us all, Blessed Lord of the Woodland.. We thank you for your Attendance in our Sacred Circle and ask your blessings on this couple and on the work we have performed here this night (day). We dismiss you now to your areas of governance, harming none as you go and taking with you our thanks and love.

As we unwind our circle we place before this newly bound couple our offerings of flowers to bring beauty to their lives and as they represent the God and Goddess this night (day) we ask their blessings on each of us. Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again. The circle unwinds from the North with each guest (circle member) kneeling before the B & G and placing fresh flowers before them. As they kneel the B & G touches each person on the forehead. The guests leave the altar area after this followed by the B & G, then the pages and finally the Hp & Hps. I thought long and hard about posting this as a public message. But since I wrote it, (and plagiarized some of it from various Pagan sources) and we have used it in our handfastings and have found it to be appropriate and moving, I think it may be something to be shared and enjoyed by others. Like all Pagan rituals, use only what seems appropriate to you. Rearrange it, re-write it or toss it out. It is, as I said, a Fam. Trad ritual.

Lady Ardane

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