The Celebration and Blessing of a Handfasting

 

The Circle is cast, the Quarters are called, the Goddess and the God
are invoked, all appropriate to the traditions of the couple to be handfasted.

Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of

the Goddess and the God to witness and bless the handfasting

of this woman and this man. The bond and covenant of

marriage is a sacred and ancient rite.

 

The union of wife and husband in heart, body, and mind is

intended for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort

given one another in prosperity and adversity; and,
perhaps, for the procreation of.  Therefore marriage is

not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently,

deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it

has been instituted.

 

Into this holy union N.N. and N.N. now come to be joined. 

If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be

married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace.

 

Then the Celebrants say to the persons to be married

 

We require and charge you both, here in the presence of the Goddess
and the God, that if either of you know any reason why you may not
be handfasted in marriage lawfully, you do now confess it.

 

 

The Declaration of Consent

 

The Celebrants say to the woman

 

N., will you have this man to be your husband; to live

together in the covenant of marriage?  Will you love him,

comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health;

and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you

both shall live?

 

The Woman answers

 

I will.

 

The Celebrants say to the man

 

N., will you have this woman to be your wife; to live

together in the covenant of marriage?  Will you love her,

comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health;

and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you

both shall live?

 

The Man answers

 

I will.

 

 

The Celebrants then addresses the community, saying

 

Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your

power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?

 

People        We will.

 

If there is to be a presentation or a giving in marriage, it takes place at this time.

 

Music or readings may go here.

 

The Celebrants then say to the community:

  

O gracious Goddess and God, Look happily upon this man
and this woman who come to you seeking your blessing, and assist

them with your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love

they may honor and keep the promises and vows they make.

 

A homily or other response to the Readings may follow
Sometimes the celebrants might excerpt passages from love letters written by the couple.
.

  

 

The Marriage

 

The Man, facing the woman and taking her right hand in his, says

 

In the Name of the Goddess and the God, I, N., take you, N., 

to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, 

for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness 

and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. 

This is my solemn vow.

 

Then they loose their hands, and the Woman, still facing the man, takes his right hand

in hers, and says

 

In the Name of the Goddess and the God, I, N., take you, N.

to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, 

for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness 

and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. 

This is my solemn vow.

 

The loose their hands.

 

The Priest might bless the ring or rings as follows

 

Bless, O Lady and Lord, this ring to be a sign of the vows by which

this man and this woman have bound themselves to each

other.

 

The giver places the ring on the ring‑finger of the other's hand and says

 

N., I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all

that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.

 

Then the Celebrants join the right hands of husband and wife and says

 

Now that N. and N. have given themselves to each other by

solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and

receiving of a ring, by the power vested in me by the State
of ________ and as ordained clergy within the __________
I pronounce that they are husband and wife.

 

Those whom the Goddess and the God has joined together
let no one put asunder.

 

People        So mote in be.

 

 

The Blessings

 

All standing, the Celebrants say

 

Eternal Goddess and God, creator and preserver of all life, 

look with favor upon this world you have made, and 

especially upon this man and this woman 

whom you make one in this marriage.

 

Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their

common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a
counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. 
So mote it be.

 

Grant that their wills may be so knit together in your will,

and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may grow in love

and peace with you and one another all the days of their life.

So mote it be.

 

Give them grace, when they hurt each other, to recognize and

acknowledge their fault, and to seek each other's forgiveness

and yours.  So mote it be.

 

Bestow on them, the gift and heritage of children, and the grace
to bring them up to know you, to love you, and to serve you.  So mote it be.

 

Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they

may reach out in love and concern for others.  So mote it be.

 

Grant that all married persons who have witnessed these vows

may find their lives strengthened and their loyalties

confirmed.  So mote it be.

 

The Presentation

 

All standing, the Celebrants might present the couple to the community and to the Quarters

The Goddess and the God are thanked for their presence,
The Quarters are dismissed, and the Circle is opened.

Merry Meet, Merry Part, and Merry Meet Again.

 

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