A Wedding Ritual

— Wilddragon

This ritual is a legal marriage ceremony suitable for use when the majority of the friends and relatives attending the ceremony are not Pagan. It can easily be adapted for a less public ceremony.

weddingIdeally, the ceremony is conducted by three life-bonded couples: one as Priest and Priestess; one as East and West; and one as North and South. Any number of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen may be included in the procession, but only one of each has a role in the liturgy.

Before The Ritual Begins:

Welcome and Explanation

Priest and Priestess enter circle (from North), welcome guests, and explain ceremony.

Bridal Procession (music)

Bride and Groom process into circle (Bride from West, Groom from East).

Participants Join Hands

Groomsman speaks from Eastern Quarter:

Before we begin the religious portion of the ceremony, let us express our support for (groom) and (bride) by joining hands.

Groomsman begins the joining of hands. At end, guests sit.

Note: The significance of this is to let those who may feel uncomfortable about participation in the religious portion of the ceremony have a sense of real participation in acknowledging the marriage.

Part One: The Preparations

Claiming the Circle

Each Quarter in turn steps into circle and speaks the standard Claimings, facing inward.

The sacred circle is thus cast inside the circle of guests, so as not to include any guests in the binding.

Calling the Witnesses

East speaks, facing outward:

Hear me, oh Children of God and Goddess

I call the Spirits of Courage, warriors and truthspeakers.

Join with us to witness the union of (groom) and (bride)

And share with them your gifts of commitment and fidelity.

Spirits of Courage, come join with us.

All respond: Come join with us.

West speaks, facing outward:

Hear me, oh Children of God and Goddess

I call the Spirits of Compassion, healers and peacemakers.

Join with us to witness the union of (groom) and (bride)

And share with them your gifts of tenderness and love.

Spirits of Compassion, come join with us.

All respond: Come join with us.

South speaks, facing outward:

Hear me, oh Children of God and Goddess

I call the Spirits of Nature, Spirits of the Earth.

Join with us to witness the union of (groom) and (bride)

And share with them your gifts of passion and fertility.

Spirits of Nature, come join with us.

All respond: Come join with us.

North speaks, facing outward:

Hear me, oh Children of God and Goddess

I call the Spirits of the Unseen, teachers and guides.

Join with us to witness the union of (groom) and (bride)

And share with them your gifts of respect and understanding.

Spirits of the Unseen, come join with us.

All respond: Come join with us.

Calling the Lord and Lady

Interlude (music)

Part Two: The Mystery

Reading and Homily

A copyrighted reading was read by the Priestess, and a homily on the meaning of marriage was delivered by the Priest.

Blessing of Rings

Bridesmaid and Groomsman bring forward rings to Priest and Priestess. Priest places both rings in Priestess‘ hand and blesses with salt:

I claim these rings for God and Goddess, in the name of the guardians of the quarters, in the name of this fellowship, and in my own name. So mote it be.

All respond: So mote it be.

Priest and Priestess clasp hands and hold rings aloft.

Father, Mother, we ask your blessing upon these rings, which are the outward symbol of this sacrament which we celebrate here today. Touch them with your spirit, that they may become talismans which link the giver and the wearer in ever-growing oneness. So mote it be.

All respond: So mote it be.

Challenges and Vows

Priest speaks:

(Bride), are you prepared to link yourself spiritually to (groom); to tie your spiritual growth to his; and to make him your lifelong partner in the great work of realizing yourself as a daughter of the Lord and Lady?

Bride speaks: I am.

Priestess speaks:

(Groom), are you prepared to link yourself spiritually to (bride); to tie your spiritual growth to hers; and to make her your lifelong partner in the great work of realizing yourself as a son of the Lord and Lady?

Groom speaks: I am.

Priest speaks:

(Bride), will you take (groom) to be your husband; to live with him together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, be faithful to him for as long as you both shall live?

Bride speaks: I will.

Priestess speaks:

(Groom), will you take (bride) to be your wife; to live with her together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, be faithful to her for as long as you both shall live?

Groom speaks: I will.

Priest speaks:

Will all you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold (groom) and (bride) in their marriage?

Quarters and guests speak: We will.

Priestess speaks: Repeat after me

Priestess speaks, Groom repeats:

I, (groom), take you, (bride), to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part. This is my solemn vow.

Priest speaks, Bride repeats:

I, (bride), take you, (groom), to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part. This is my solemn vow.

Exchange of Rings

Priestess speaks: Repeat after me.

Priestess speaks, Groom repeats:

(Bride), take this ring as a symbol of my vow, All that I am, and all that I have, I give to you.

Priest speaks, Bride repeats:

(Groom), take this ring as a symbol of my vow, All that I am, and all that I have, I give to you.

Prayer over Bride and Groom

Pronouncement

Priestess Speaks:

Let all those gathered here witness that (groom) and (bride) have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings. Those who have been so joined together let no one put asunder.

Priest speaks:

In the name of God and Goddess, I pronounce you husband and wife.

Bride and groom kiss.

Interlude (music)

Part Three: The Closing

Thanking the Lord and Lady

Thanking the Witnesses

East speaks, facing outward:

We thank you, oh Spirits of Courage,

For coming to witness the marriage of this man and this woman,

May they be blessed by your gifts of commitment and fidelity.

So mote it be.

All respond: So mote it be.

West speaks, facing outward:

We thank you, oh Spirits of Compassion,

For coming to witness the marriage of this man and this woman

May they be blessed by your gifts of tenderness and love.

So mote it be.

All respond: So mote it be.

South speaks, facing outward:

We thank you, oh Spirits of Nature,

For coming to witness the marriage of this man and this woman

May they be blessed by your gifts of passion and fertility.

So mote it be.

All respond: So mote it be.

North speaks, facing outward:

We thank you, oh Spirits of the Unseen,

For coming to witness the marriage of this man and this woman

May they be blessed by your gifts of respect and understanding.

So mote it be.

All respond: So mote it be.

Formal Closing

Priestess speaks:

The circle is open, the rite is ended. Go forth as husband and wife with the blessing of God and Goddess. So mote it be.

All respond: So mote it be.

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