Wican/Pagan Wedding Ceremonies

Why Marriage? (altered slightly)

Author: Mari Nichols

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person, with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body . Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me, who won't hold them against me, who loves me when I'm unlikable, who sees the small child in me, and looks for the divine potential of me. Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night with someone who is thankful, with someone I feel blessed to hold. Because marriage means opportunity to grow in love in friendship. Because, knowing this, I promise myself to take full responsibility for my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness, I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage together we create ourmarriage. Because with this understanding the possibilities are limitless.

Handfasting

Officiant: Please join hands. As your hands are joined, so your lives, Holding each other, Caressing each other, Supporting each other, Loving each other. (Officiant ties the ribbon around ourhands). Groom (repeating after Officiant): I, (Groom), promise you, (Bride), that I will be your husband, From this day forward, To love and respect you, To support and to hold you, To make you laugh And to be there when you cry, To softly kiss you when you are hurting, And to be your companion and your friend, On this journey that we will now make together. Bride: (same thing, names switched) Officiant: Announces to those gathered that we are now bound to each other. (unties the ribbon)

Reading

Apache Wedding Poem, read by [member of the bridal party of your choosing] Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be a shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no loneliness for you, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two bodies, but there is only one life before you. May your days be good and long upon the earth!

Officiant: Now that you have joined yourselves in matrimony, may you strive always to meet this commitment with the same spirit you now exhibit. We all bear witness to this ceremony you have just performed and you may now call yourselves by those old and respected names, husband and wife. Bless this union. You may kiss the bride.

A Second Ceremony

Officiant: Know now 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 matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage. With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family, but 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?

Bride and Groom: Yes, We Seek to Enter.

Officiant: 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. I bid you look into each others eyes. [Groom's Name], Will you cause her pain?

Groom: I May

Officiant: Is that you intent?

Groom: No

Officiant: [Bride's Name], Will you cause him pain?

Bride: I may

Officiant: Is that you intent?

Bride: No

Officiant: [To Both] Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?

Bride and Groom: Yes

Officiant: And so the binding is made. Join your hands *First cord is draped across the bride and grooms hands* [Bride's Name], Will you share his laughter?

Bride:Yes

Officiant: [Groom's Name], Will you share her laughter?

Groom: Yes

Officiant: *To Both* Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?

Bride and Groom: Yes

Officiant: And so the binding is made. *Second chord is draped across the couples hands* [Bride's Name], Will you burden him?

Bride: I may

Officiant:Is that you intent?

Bride: No

Officiant:[Groom's Name], Will you burden her?

Groom: I may

Officiant:Is that your intent?

Groom: No

Officiant: Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

Bride and Groom: Yes

Officiant:And so the binding is made. *Drape third chord across the couples hands* [Bride's Name], will you share his dreams?

Bride: Yes

Officiant:[Groom's Name], will you share her dreams?

Groom: Yes

Officiant:*To Both* Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?

Bride and Groom: Yes

Officiant:And so the binding is made. *Drape fourth chord across the couples hands* [Groom's Name], will you cause her anger?

Groom: I may

Officiant: Is that you intent?

Groom: No

Officiant: [Bride's Name], will you cause him anger?

Bride: I may

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Bride: No

Officiant: *To Both* Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?

Bride and Groom: We Will

Officiant: And so the binding is made. *Drape fifth chord across the couples hands* [Bride's Name], Will you honor him?

Bride: I will

Officiant: [Groom's Name], Will you honor her?

Groom: I will

Officiant: *To Both* Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?

Bride and Groom: We shall never do so

Officiant: And so the binding is made. *Drape sixth chord across the couples hands* *Tie chords together while saying:* 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 of breaking of this union. *Once chords are tied together they are removed and placed on altar*

(End)

Exchange of Rings

Officiant: (Bride and Groom), as these circles are designed without an ending, they speak of eternity. May the incorruptible substance of these rings represent a love glowing with increasing lustre through the years. Bless these rings which you give to each other as the sign of your love, trust, and faithfulness. Groom (repeating after Officiant): Take this ring as a sign of my love, and as a symbol of all that we share, in token and pledge, of my constant faith and abiding love. Bride: (same thing, switched)

Opening Remarks

Officiant: We have come together here in celebration of the joining together of (enter bride's name here)and (enter groom's name here). Others would ask, at this time, who gives the bride in marriage, but, I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family's blessing. (Bride), is it true that you come of your own free will and accord? Bride: Yes, it is true. Officiant: With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you. Bride's attendant: She comes with her father, and her mother, and is accompanied by all of her family's blessings.

Unity Candle Lighting

Officiant: To remind you that the two lives we unite today were created by others, we ask your parents to come forward.[Parents arrive.] Have you any words for this couple? [parents make comments] Bride and Groom: [write something] Officiant: (Groom), this candle represents you. We ask your parents to light your flame as they provided you the spark of life years ago. [parents light candle] Officiant: (Bride), this candle represents you. We ask your parents to light your flame as they provided you the spark of life years ago. [parents light candle] Officiant: (Bride and Groom), this candle represents your union from this day forward. If you are truly ready to merge your lives and your passion, we ask that you light this flame together.

[Bride and Groom light candle using personal candles]