Elisa and Evan's Handfasting
On Leap Year: February 29, 20008
© 2008 Elisa & Evan

HP/S: In times past it was believed that the human soul shared
characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which
assigned virtues to the cardinal directions: East, South, West
and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in
support of this ceremony.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East: Communication
of the heart, mind, and body; Fresh beginnings with the rising
of each Sun; The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing
of silences.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South: Warmth of
hearth and home, the heat of the heart's passion, the light
created by both to lighten the darkest of times. 

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West: The deep
commitments of the lake; the swift excitement of the river;
The refreshing cleansing of the rain; The all encompassing
passion of the sea.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North: Firm foundation
on which to build; Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives;
A stable home to which you may always return. 

Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes
those things which will help you build a happy and successful union.
Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order
to create what you seek in this union. 


Introduction 

We now will celebrate the joining together of Elisa and Evan.
They have decided to publicly declare their love for each other
with a Handfasting.

Elisa, do you come of your own free will and accord to acknowledge
before the Goddess and God the vow and bond of love that is shared
between yourself and Evan? 

Elisa: Yes. 

HP/S: Evan, do you come of your own free will and accord
to acknowledge the vow and bond of love that is shared between
yourself and Elisa?

Evan: Yes. 

HP/S: This Handfasting bond is 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, Elisa and Evan have come here today
to be joined as one.

Know before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in
this life you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to
enter this state of bonding, you should strive to make real the
ideals which give meaning to this ceremony.

With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only
declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family,
but (to Elisa) you speak that intent also to your creative higher
powers. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here
greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives
of each soul's growth. Do you still seek to enter this ceremony? 

Elisa and Evan: Yes. 


The Handfasting


HP/S: Please join your hands and listen to that which I am 
about to say. 
Above you are the stars, below you are the stones, 
as time passes, remember... 
Like a stone should 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 hand fasting, let the strength of your wills bind you 
together, let the power of love and desire make you happy, and the 
strength of your dedication make you inseparable. Be close, but not 
too close. Be understanding and have patience with one another. 
Be free in giving affection and warmth. May neither take advantage 
of the other. For remember what one may not provide, the other may. 
Storms will come, but they will pass quickly. 
Have no fear, for love will be with you always.
 
HP/S: I bid you look into each other's eyes.
 
Elisa and Evan hold hands in a figure 8 
(a representation of the lasting effect of their choice)
 
HP/S: Evan, Will you cause her pain? 
Evan: I may.
 
HP/S: Is that your intent? 
Evan: No.
 
HP/S: Elisa, Will you cause him pain? 
Elisa: I may.
 
HP/S: Is that your intent? 
Elisa: No.
 
HP/S: Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it? 
Elisa and Evan: Yes.
 
HP/S: And so the binding is made. Join your hands.
 
*First cord is draped across the bride and groom's hands* 

HP/S:  Elisa, Will you share his laughter and dreams? 
Elisa: Yes.
 
HP/S: Evan, Will you share her laughter and dreams? 
Evan: Yes.
 
*To Both* 
HP/S: Will both of you look for the brightness in life, 
dream together, and create new realities and hopes? 
Evan and Elisa: Yes.
 
HP/S: And so the binding is made.
 
*Second chord is draped across the couple's hands*
 
HP/S: Elisa, Will you burden him? 
Elisa: I may.
 
HP/S:  Is that your intent? 
Elisa: No.
 
HP/S: Evan, Will you burden her? 
Evan: I may.
 
HP/S: Is that your intent? 
Evan: No.
 
*To Both*
HP/S: Will you share the burdens of each 
so that your spirits may grow in this union? 
Evan and Elisa: Yes.
 
HP/S: And so the binding is made.
 
*Drape third chord across the couple's hands* 

HP/S: Evan, will you cause her anger? 
Evan: I may.
 
HP/S: Is that your intent? 
Evan: No.
 
HP/S:  Elisa, will you cause him anger? 
Elisa: I may.
 
HP/S:  Is that your intent? 
Elisa: No.
 
*To Both* 
HP/S: Will you take the heat of anger 
and use it to temper the strength of this union? 
Evan and Elisa: We Will.
 
HP/S: And so the binding is made.
 
*Drape fourth chord across the couple's hands*
 
HP/S:  Elisa, Will you honor him? 
Elisa: I will.
 
HP/S: Evan, Will you honor her? 
Evan: I will.
 
*To Both* 
HP/S: Will you seek to never give cause 
to break that honor? 
Evan and Elisa: We will.
 
HP/S: And so the binding is made.
 
*Drape fifth chord across the couple's hands*
 
HP/S: The knots of this binding are not formed 
by these chords but instead by your vows. 
Either of you may drop the chords, for as always, 
you hold in your own.
 
hands the making or breaking of this union. 
HP/S ties the cords. 

The Ring Exchange 

HP/S: As you have made an inward agreement 
to join your lives together, much of the world can not see 
what resides on the inside.  The rings are gift 
representing Evan and Elisa's love for one another. 
As they exchange rings, they also exchange the gift 
of consideration with one another.
 
HP/S picks up rings from the altar.
 
HP/S to Elisa: Elisa, I have not the power 
to give you to another. If you wish to be Evan's wife, 
take your ring and place it in his hand.
 
Elisa takes ring and places it in Evan's hand. 
Evan takes ring and recites vows while 
he places it on Elisa's finger.
 
HP/S to Evan: Repeat after me: 
Evan: I, Evan L., by the life that courses within my blood 
and the love that resides within my heart, take thee Elisa 
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 restraint, 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. 

HP/S to Evan: Evan, I have not the power to give you to another.  
If you wish to be Elisa's husband, take your ring and place it in her hand.
 
Evan takes ring places it in Elisa's hand. 
Elisa takes ring and recites vows while place it on Evan's finger.
 
HP/S: Repeat after me: 
Elisa: I, Elisa M., 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 Evan 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 restraint, 
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.
 
HP/S: What you have here done together with one another, 
let no one break apart.
 
May the Lord and Lady take notice of, and be favorably inclined 
toward your union, and may you be blessed with health, prosperity 
and fruitfulness, from this day forth and forevermore. 
By the power vested in me by the State of Florida as ordained 
clergy in good standing, and an Elder in Communion, with the 
Covenant of the Goddess, I pronounce you husband and wife. 
So mote it be!
 
HP/S: And now, as in all marriages you have certain duties 
to one another. 

Food/Drink, then Jumping the Broom 

HP/S blesses the bread, then hands the chalice 
filled with juice to Elisa.
 
"This is your first drink together. May you never thirst!"
 
Elisa holds cup for Evan to drink. Evan then holds cup for Elisa to drink. 
Cup is returned to the altar.
 
HP/S breaks bread, offering a part to the God and Goddess 
and giving a piece each to Elisa and Evan.
 
"This is your first food together. May you never hunger!"
 
Elisa holds bread for Evan to eat. Evan holds bread for Elisa to eat. 
HP/S places the Broom down on the ground. 

HP/S:  This will be your first leap of faith together.
 
Elisa and Evan jump the broom. 

Elisa and Evan disappear to a side room for a private moment together.

Lords & Ladies, juice us now for the feast of celebration!
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