Saturday, 16 August 2014

16th August 2014 - Celebrants and Celebrations

Thought for the day : "Is it my imagination, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?"

Today is a day for a wedding for two good friends.
I shall be acting as celebrant for the wedding and thought I would list it here for the record....

Hayley and Simon  - Celebration of Marriage

The guests, friends and family are invite to gather into a large circle, minimally drawn out upon the ground or if available at the site by some form of foliage/ greenery …

The guests are mainly in a horseshoe with the Celebrant (me) at the end with a small table suitable covered with a colour scheme of the wedding.

Friends and family of Hayley and Simon. On behalf of the Bride and Groom I welcome you to this circle and would ask that you ensure that your phones are off – or at least on vibrate or similar, as the ceremony that now follows is as important, and solemn as any other, and should not be spoiled in any way….

Some wedding ceremonies are based upon religion, some on spiritual belief, some on tradition… Today, Hayley and Simon have chosen to demonstrate their love and commitment – each to the other – in front of family and friends, of those they love and who love them.

My name is Iain .. My other names are unnecessary as today I act only as Celebrant – I shall conduct and assist in the celebration that is the Hand-Fasting of Simon and Hayley..

As this may be the first time that some of you are attending a hand-fasting you might be interested in the symbolism of what you will see today. Much of which are familiar in all but their context

The circle in which you all stand is symbolic of the cycles of life. A circle has no beginning and no end, and therefore is in itself a symbol of eternity. It symbolizes the rings exchanged in marriage. The circle itself is an infinite thing. It is magical and never-ending, never changing and yet always adaptable, a ring with no beginning and no conclusion.

Like the circle, true love itself is infinite. It goes on, knowing no boundaries or restrictions.

I now invite the Hayley and Simon to enter this circle and join with us for their hand-fasting..
Some will recognize the symbolic binding of the hands at the end of the service that inspired the terms “Bonds of Holy Matrimony” and to “Tie the knot” This custom has also been known the world over, through many different periods in history.

During the Middle Ages to be seen in public holding hands was a sign that a couple were exclusive to one another. And while rings were for the very rich, love knows no bounds and a simple cord would do just fine.

Those of you who are fans of the Renaissance period will be happy to see the jumping of broom at the closing of the ceremony which symbolically sweeps clean the past reminding our Bride and Groom that the power to create the future ahead and the quality of life that they both so richly deserve is their own.

[hands broom to the bridesmaid who will take charge of it for the ceremony]

Jumping the broom is a symbol of change and renewal
It is a symbol of sweeping away the old and welcoming the new
A symbol of new beginnings..

The straw end represents the brushing away of all their old cares and worries.
The strong wooden handle represents the strength of your commitment to each other, and the straight, unconditionally-committed path you will follow together in marriage.

The leap that the couple takes over the broom is also symbolic. Starting a new life with another person does require a "leap of faith". But by taking the leap, the individuals make a gesture of dedication to working together through the tough times ahead and the willingness to care for and defend one another.

Some say that whoever jumps the highest will be the boss of the house!


Hayley and Simon - I now ask that you stand here in front of your family and friends so that they may witness your commitment to one and other.

Please face each other and look into each other’s eyes… for the eyes are the mirror to the soul and reveal all to each other…

I call on Friends who are witnesses in the East.. for the East represents new beginnings that come each day with the rising sun, communication of the heart, mind, body and soul.

I call on Friends who are witnesses in the South -- for the South represents the light of the heart, the heat of passion, and the warmth of a loving home.

I call on Friends who are witnesses in the West -- for the West represents the rushing excitement of a raging river, the soft and pure cleansing of a rainstorm, and a commitment as deep as the ocean itself.

I call on Friends who are witnesses in the North -- for the North represents a solid foundation on which to build your lives, abundance and growth of your home, and the stability to be found by holding one another at the end of the day

And I call upon you both to make your commitment each to the other..


Do you, Simon,  promise to show Hayley  your honor and fidelity, to share her laughter and joy, to support and stand by her in times of difficulty, to dream and hope together with her, and to spend each day loving her more than the day before?         Answers??

Do you, Hayley, promise to show Simon your honor and fidelity, to share his hopes and dreams, to laugh with him and share endless days of joy, to stand side by side with him in times of trouble, and to spend each day loving him more than the day before?  Answers?? 

The vows of love have been spoken.
With open hearts you are declaring your intentions here today with your family and friends as witnesses and symbolizing your commitment to each other and these ideals by this ritual of hand-fasting.

These ribbons, each has two ends but remains a single ribbon and symbolizes two in one…
Do you freely and intentionally enter this ceremony with love in your heart ??
Both answer “I Do”

Please hold hands together...


Simon – do you pledge your love to Hayley – to nurture her and support her as far as you are able? [I do]

Hayley – do you pledge your love to Simon – to nurture him and support him as far as you are able? [I do]

Simon and Hayley, will you make your love your first priority and, at those times when you are weary and under pressure look each to the other. (both) Yes.

And so the binding is made. (The first cord is placed over the couple’s joined hands).
Simon, will you bring suffering into the relationship? I may.
Is that your intent? No.

Hayley, will you bring suffering into the relationship? I may.
Is that your intent? No.

Simon and Hayley, will you make peace your first priority and, at those times when you forget, be brave and take the first step forward to healing? Yes.

And so the second binding is made. (The 2nd cord is placed over the couple’s joined hands).

Simon, will you share Haley’s laughter and joy? Yes.
Hayley, will you share Simon’s laughter and joy? Yes.
Simon and Hayley, will you look for the brightness and joy in life and the positive in each other? Yes.

And so the third binding is made. (The 3rd cord is looped over the couple’s hands).

Simon, will you trouble Hayley? I may.
Is that your intent? No.
Hayley, will you trouble Simon? I may.
Is that your intent? No.

Simon and Hayley, in all times of trouble will you stand one by the other, against all who stand against you, united in your love for one and other and sure in your bonds to each other? Yes.

And so the fourth binding is made
. (The 4th cord is looped over the couple’s hands).

Simon , Hayley, these cord ribbons symbolize so much. It is your life, your love, and the eternal connection that the two of you have found with one another. The ties of this hand-fasting are not formed by these ribbons, or even by the knots connecting them. They are formed instead by your vows, by your pledge, your souls, and your two hearts, now bound together as one.

As one last bond, Simon, will you please kiss Hayley

And so the last binding is made…..
Please face your friends and family … and raise your hands aloft

Remember then as your hands are fasted – these are not the ties that bind..
they are but a symbol of your love”

Broom Jumping I now ask that all the guest form a passage leading from here for the happy couple to walk through…

Two lines of guests so they can all see the last part of the ceremony with Falconer at the other end of the line..

Broom is presented by Bridesmaid

The final part of the ceremony relates to a tradition as old as the land itself ..
Please place the broom on the floor

Now Hayley and Simon As a final symbol of your celebration of marriage – I call on you to jump over the broom and ask all the guests here to count down from 5

5 4 3 2 1 – Jump….

As Celebrant, I now declare you bound by your own vows and the symbols that you have undertaken here today before your friend and family ….as Husband and Wife.

In Celtic tradition these cords were sometimes kept in place on the couples hands for several days after the ceremony. You can imagine the challenge this presented the couple - literally tied to one another 24/7! Today, Simon and Hayley will be spared this part of the tradition (the ribbons are lifted off gently) while honouring the intention – that they will continue to work together as a team and uphold one another through all that life brings them.

These ribbons will be placed in a special box with the knot in place as a delightful reminder of the vows they have made. However, So that their love may have wings and fly to the heavens, that they may have dreams and songs to sing… I call upon one last symbol of how their love may rise above the world and soar through the heavens

The Bird of Prey flies down the line of people carrying a small  bouquet of herbs and flowers
These can be explained by the Falconer....

The couple then walk through the line of guests together...

End of Ceremony...

And so I hope it is as successful...
Maybe a glass of Chateau 41  to celebrate...

Street of the day 

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