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Spiritual Handfasting Rite

 

OFFICIANT:

Friends, we are gathered here today, among friends and family, to witness the exchanges of sacred vows to unite Heather and Curtis as one.  This unity is not entered into lightly, but is a simple reflection of their sincerity and commitment to each other, as witnessed by those that they care most about.  While a faith may bless, and the state may make this commitment legal; neither state nor faith can create or invalidate this union.  It is a sacred commitment between these two people responsible only unto each other, held true by their values and beliefs.

 

This is not the first cycle of their lives together.  Rather then start new, this ceremony represents to Heather and Curtis a new season.  Just as spring is the time of planting, and summer is a time of growth, this cycle represents the harvest of growth, maturity and abiding respect.  Past success, failures, disappointments and joy simply nourish this harvest, providing a rich and stable place from which to grow together as the cycle of life continues.

 

(Turning to groom)

Curtis, is it your wish to take Heather to be your wife and soul mate, to join together your heart unto hers, uniting your spirit and hers into a common being, gifting her with your trust, respect and abiding love for so long as you both shall live?

(Answer: “It is”)

 

(Turning to bride)

Heather, is it your wish to take Curtis to be your husband and soul mate, to join together your heart unto his, uniting your spirit and his into a common being.  Gifting him with your trust, respect and abiding love for so long as you both shall live?

(Answer: “It is”)

 

A union such as this unites not only these two people, but brings together two halves of a circle.  When a man and a woman pledge their hearts to each other, they not only create a home and family of their own, they also carry with them, the support, good will and hopes of all that care for them as individuals.  This union is a confirmation to the families from which you come that they are worthy and that their contribution to your lives shall be continued in the home that you have created.  In a close and personal way, your marriage is a uniting of these two families that bore and raised you. By uniting together, each of you join the family of the other to bear its strengths, and promise into the future as it lies within your ability to do.  Having this acknowledged is an important matter.  For this reason, I would ask this of the families from which you come:

 

(Turning to BRIDE’S mother)

Do you, as a representative of Heather’s family, accept Curtis as Heather’s lifelong mate, and thereby, as one of your own?

(Answer: “Yes, we do”)

 

(Turning to GROOM’S family)

Do you, as a representative of Curtis’ family, accept Heather as Curtis’ lifelong mate, and thereby, as one of your own?

(Answer: “Yes, we do”)

 

Curtis, please repeat after me:

I, Curtis, because I love you, take you, Heather, to be my wife.  I will share with you the many adventures of life together.  I gift you with my love, my respect, and pledge to you my care and commitment in times of joy and sorrow, for today, and throughout all of our tomorrows. 

OFFICIANT: So will it be.

 

Heather, please repeat after me:

I, Heather, because I love you, take you Curtis, to be my husband.  I will share with you the many adventures of life together.  I gift you with my love, my respect, and pledge to you my care and commitment in times of joy and sorrow, for today, and throughout all of our tomorrows. 

OFFICIANT: So will it be.

 

A ring is an unbroken circle, a symbol of unity and love, representative of the greater circle of life from which we all spiritually are a part of.  Having neither beginning nor end, but a continuous cycle of which you are an element. For you, it beings with the gift of life, and will continue through the end of time.  Please present the rings.

 

Will you Curtis, accept this ring as a loving symbol of Heather’s vows this day?

(Answer: “I will”)

 

Will you Heather, accept this ring as a loving symbol of Curtis’ vows this day?

(Answer: “I will”)

 

 

(I will now perform the) BLESSING OF THE HANDS

OFFICIANT:
Heather, please take Curtis’ hands and hold them, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.

(BRIDE and GROOM should be facing each other, his upturned hands resting in hers.)

These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within your womb.

These are the hands that look so large and clumsy, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief rack your mind.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his love and desire for you.


OFFICIANT:
Curtis, please hold Heather's hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you.

(Bride should now place her upturned hands in the Groom's hands.)


These are the hands that are smooth, young, and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.

These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurts, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it's time to let go.

These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings, after you've both had a long hard day.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. They are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope.

These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together, everything you wish for can be realized.


OFFICIENT:
Lord and Lady bless the hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for your perfection. May Heather and Curtis see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide.

BRIDE: I give you my hand in marriage

GROOM: And I give you mine

(BRIDE and GROOM join hands, right to right, left to left.)


BRIDE: With this hand, I promise to hold you, cherish you, and respect you always.

GROOM: With this hand, I promise to care for you, provide for you, and to be your friend.

BRIDE: As I hold your hands in mine, I feel your love.

GROOM: And I feel your love; our love is not only for this moment, but for a lifetime.
 
OFFICIANT: "With this cord, I bind you to the vows that you each have made." (Wrap the cords loosely around both arms three times) "May the Lord and the Lady smile upon this union and bless this couple with health and prosperity. For remember what one may not provide, the other may. So are you bound, in the light of the Lord and Lady, each to the other, unto all of your days."

COUPLE TOGETHER: Heart to thee,
Soul to thee,
Body to thee,
Forever and always,
So mote it be.

PRIEST/ESS: (Removes binding and holds it overhead.) I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Smith-Berry.  Having sworn oath on this day, each to the other unto the end of their days. [Instructs Curtis to kiss the bride]