Reading – The Bible – Ecclesiastes 4

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)

9 Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

 

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Ceremony – Handfasting of Six Cords

Officiant: Do you come of your own free will and accord?

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: Since your lives first crossed, you have formed ties between each other. The promises you make today will bind your lives together. With full awareness, know that you declare your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family. Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: I bid you look into each others eyes.

Officiant: [Spouse1’s Name], will you honor him?

Spouse1: I will.

Officiant: [Spouse2’s Name], will you honor her?

Spouse2: I will.

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

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: And so the binding is made. Join your hands. (First cord is draped across the Spouse1 and Spouse2’s hands.)

Officiant: [Spouse1’s Name], will you share his dreams?

Spouse1: I will.

Officiant: [Spouse2’s Name], will you share her dreams?

Spouse2: I will .

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

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: And so the binding is made. (Second cord is draped across the couple’s hands.)

Officiant: [Spouse1’s Name], will you share his laughter?

Spouse1: I will.

Officiant: [Spouse2’s Name], will you share her laughter?

Spouse2: I will.

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

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: And so the binding is made. (Drape third cord across the couple’s hands.)

Officiant: [Spouse1’s Name], might you ever burden him?

Spouse1: I might…

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Spouse1: No.

Officiant: [Spouse2’s Name], might you ever burden her?

Spouse2: I might…

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Spouse2: No.

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

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: And so the binding is made. (Drape fourth cord across the couple’s hands.)

Officiant: [Spouse1’s Name], might you ever cause him pain?

Spouse1: I might…

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Spouse1: No.

Officiant: [Spouse2’s Name], might you ever cause her pain?

Spouse2: I might…

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Spouse2: No.

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

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: And so the binding is made. (Drape fifth cord across the couple’s hands.)

Officiant: [Spouse1’s Name], might you ever cause him anger?

Spouse1: I might…

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Spouse1: No.

Officiant: [Spouse2’s Name], might you ever cause her anger?

Spouse2: I might…

Officiant: Is that your intent?

Spouse2: No.

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

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: And so the binding is made. (Drape sixth cord across the couple’s hands. Tie cords together while saying:)

The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords, but rather by your vows. For as always, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union. You are now handfasted as one.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ceremony – Handfasting of Four Cords

Officiant: Do you come of your own free will and accord?

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: Since your lives first crossed, you have formed ties between each other. The promises you make today will bind your lives together. With full awareness, know that you declare your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family. Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Spouse1 & Spouse2: Yes.

Officiant: Will you share yourselves freely and generously with each other, making time to be together?

Spouse1 & Spouse2: We will.

Officiant: The first binding is thus made with blue, symbolic of Water, that your love may flow and fill you to your depths. [The blue cord is draped over the couple’s hands.]

Officiant: Will you each seek to ease the other’s pain and suffering, sharing laughter and joy?

Spouse1 & Spouse2: We will.

Officiant: The second binding is thus made with green, symbolic of Earth, that your love may be wise and nurturing, and your happiness abundant. [The green cord is draped over the couple’s hands.]

Officiant: Will you strive to keep your romance alive through daily actions and words of encouragement?

Spouse1 & Spouse2: We will.

Officiant: The third binding is thus made with red, symbolic of Fire, that your love may be bright and passionate. [The red cord is draped over the couple’s hands.]

Officiant: Will you both help each other to grow in spirit and wisdom?

Spouse1 & Spouse2: We will.

Officiant: The fourth binding is thus made with white, symbolic of Air, that your love may be as limitless as the sky, and filled with spirit. [The white cord is draped over the couple’s hands. All four cords are tied together.]

Officiant: You are now bound together, your two lives joined by love and trust into one life. The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords, but rather by your vows. For as always, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union.  You are now handfasted as one.

 

 

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Ceremony – Celtic Blessing of Four Elements

In this ceremony, the officiant says a line, and the couple repeats it together at the same time.  This can be accompanied by a handfasting of 4 cords, one representing each element: brown for earth, white for air, red for fire, and blue for water.

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We ask protection for the ones that we love.

We honor all creation as we pledge our hearts and lives together.

We honor earth and ask our marriage be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons.

We honor air as we sail through life safe and calm in the arms of the universe.

We honor fire and ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts.

We honor water to clean and soothe our relationship that it may never thirst for love.

With all the forces of the universe we pray for harmony and true happiness as we forever grow young together.

Blessed be.

 

 

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