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Handfasting Ceremony Miranda and Jacob

Presentation of Mirnada and Jacob
Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?
-She gives herself, and we share her giving, joyfully.

Who giveth this man to be married to this woman?
-He gives himself, and we share his giving, joyfully.

The Handfasting Introduction and Explanation
On behalf of Miranda and Jacob, I would like to thank you all for coming and the effort you have taken to make this day truly memorable.  Miranda and Jacob have decided to follow the ancient tradition of a handfasting.  The tradition is as old as the written language and is practiced in many cultures.  The term handfasting comes from the old custom of formally uniting a couple by binding their hands together with ribbon or rope.  The is where the terms ‘giving ones hand in marriage’ and ‘tying the knot’ comes from.  Other ancient rituals involved wedding cakes and wine.  These cakes were made of grain and were symbolic of fertility, abundance and mother earth.  The wine was  many times a honey meade representing the sweetness and potency of the heavenly father.  Today you will be witnessing some of the ancient customs.

The Convocation
We have come together here in celebration of the spiritual union of Miranda and Jacob.  The law of life is:  Love unto all beings.  Without love, life is nothing, without love, death has no redemption.  Love is anterior to life, posterior to death, the initial creation and the exponent of the earth.  If we learn no more in life, let it be this.
Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection.  As with any aspect of life, it has its cycles, its ups and downs, its trials and triumphs.  With full understanding of this, Miranda and Jacob have willingly come here today to be joined as one.

Lighting the Elemental Candles
(Bridal attendants will light the candles while the Minister speaks)
The green candle represents the element of earth and the north symbolizing solidarity, manifestation and posssessions.

As we light the white candle, know that it represents the element of air and the east symbolizing the power of thought, communication and knowledge. 

The red candle represents the elements of fire and the south symbolizing the power of passion, energy and vitality

The blue candle represents the element of water and the west symbolizing feeling, emotions and cycles.


Summoning the Cricle
(Minister blesses the bowl of water by holding right hand over bowl and saying)
Blessings be upon this water.

(Minister blesses the sake by scooping salt into water holding right hand over bowl and saying)

Blessings be upon thi salt.

I summon the circle, the circle I summon and bind to the womb our spiritual birth through air, fire, water and earth.

Calling the Quarters

(Turning to the North)
Spirits of the north whose element is earth, give your blessings to Miranda and Jacob who are about to be handfasted.  Grant to their union your gifts of stability, strength, and abundance.

(Turning to the East)

Spirits of the east whose element is air, give your blessings to Miranda and Jacob who are about to be handfasted.  Grand to their union your gifts of communication, wisdom and understanding.

(Turning to the South)

Spirits of the south whose element is fire, give your blessings to Miranda and Jacob who are about to be handfasted.  Grant to their union your gifts of vitality, passion and creativity.

(Turning to the West)
Sprits of the west whose element is water, give your blessings to Miranda and Jacob who are about to be handfasted.  Grant to their union your gifts of love, intuition and friendship.

(At the Center)
Now we stand in the center of the circle, where all things meet their opposites; goodness and evil, darkness and light, spirit and matter, that which makes each whole and complete, just as Miranda and Jacob are about to join as one spirit.  For the time that we gather here, let this place be free of all outside influence, of all resentment, and of all negativity.  Each of us has gone through their own dark and long nights; may this couple no longer face the darkness alone but rather find in each other the strength and light we seek when we turn toward the sun after our own dark times.

The Expression of Intent

Miranda and Jacob is it your intent to be joined now and forever, in this life and in those that follow?
(In Unison) -It Is
(Minister says:  -So Be It)

Will you share life’s bur
dens between you so that neither is overcome?
(In Unison) -Yes

Will you share each other’s dreams and by dreaming together, explore what you might accomplish together?
(In Unison) -Yes

No couple goes through life without becoming angry from time to time.  Will your anger become a forge to temper and strengthen your bond, or a furnace to burn and melt it away?
(In Unison) -A Forge

Will you seek never to betray the trust you have in each other, lest you plant the seeds of doubt, which may grow and rend apart the love that you share?
(In Unison) -Yes

Sharing of Cakes and Wine
(Holding up the plate of cakes)
As a symbol of Miranda, I do offer these cakes which represent the Goddess.
(The bride accepts the plate of cakes and feeds one to the groom)
From this day, and through this union, Jacob shall come to know the Goddess through Miranda.

(Holding up the cup of wine)
Likewise, as a symbol of Jacob, I do offer this wine that represents the God.
(The groom accepts the cup and passes it to the bride who takes a sip and returns it to the groom)
From this day and through this union, Miranda shall come to know the God through Jacob.

Tying the Knot
(Passing ribbon or cord to attendants)
Now we will pass the cord around the circle.  So that each of you can bless it with your good wishes for Miranda and Jacob. 
Let no one with them ill or it will return three-fold.

(Binding the Miranda and Jacob’s left hands)
Before me, Miranda and Jacob will swear vows to each other.  With this cord I bind them to the vow that they each are about to make.

The Vows
Miranda
This day, I pledge my love to you forever.  Body to body, heart to heart, soul to soul, life to life, I give to you everything that I am and ever will be.  I promise to be ever faithful and to do my best to always meet your needs.  I swear my abiding support for you, through whatever comes our way.  I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night, and the eyes into which I smile in the morning.  I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine.  I shall not slander you, nor you me.  I shall honor you above all others.  I love you with all my heart, soul and everything that I am; for always, forever, from this life to the next and all that may come after.

Jacob
This day, I pledge my love to you forever.  Body to body, heart to heart, soul to soul, life to life, I give to you everything that I am and ever will be.  I promise to be ever faithful and to do my best to always meet your needs.  I swear my abiding support for you, through whatever comes our way.  I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night, and the eyes into which I smile in the morning.  I shall be a shield for your back and you for mine.  I shall not slander you, nor you me.  I shall honor you above all others.  I love you with all my heart, soul and everything that I am; for always, forever, from this life to the next and all that may come after.

The Ring Blessing

Your bond is blessed, bet even so, incomplete.  You cannot be at all times together physically.
(Cord is removed)

How then, will you be bound, when this is the case?
(In Unison) -We shall wear rings

Because a circle is endless, a ring is the symbol of undying love.  The third finger of the left hand was chosen long ago when it was thought to be connected directly to the heart by a vein of love.

The Ring Exchange
Miranda
Jacob, I give you this ring, knowing that to it is bound my heart.  Wear it always when you are away, so that I may never forget that we are together.  Wear it for me, so that even in the direst of storms, I need not fear for your safety, so long as in my heart I know that you love me still. 
With this ring, I thee wed.

Jacob
Miranda, I give you this ring, knowing that to it is bound my heart.  Wear it always when you are away, so that I may never forget that we are together.  Wear it for me, so that even in the direst of storms, I need not fear for your safety, so long as in my heart I know that you love me still. 
With this ring, I thee wed.

Release of the Elements and the Circle
Thank you guardians of the North, South, East and West, for your blessings and your attendance.  We bid hail and farewell, this circle is now closed and go in peace!

Benediction
May you be blessed, every step of your path together.  May the sun shine upon you; may the moon move the tides of your emotions with grace and magic; may your hearts sing; may your hearth be warm; and may all your days be blessed and filled with joy.

Marriage Pronouncement

Now that Miranda and Jacob have consented together to abide in peace and love, have given themselves to each other by their solemn pledges and declared the same before these witnesses, I now declare that they are husband and wife and their spirits shall be together forever more.

The Kiss

May you always have true happiness and bliss as you seal your wedding vows with a kiss!

Jumping the Broom
(The couple walks to the Eastern quarter with arms about each other’s waists, jump the broom and begin their new life.)