Handfasting with Readings

Judi:
Good afternoon everyone, my name is Judi Buttner and on behalf of Adrian and Helen I would like to welcome you all to Rua Reidh Lighthouse in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.

It means a great deal to them to have their family and friends present to share with them in their happiness and to witness their marriage vows.

Your willingness to travel here means a great deal to them, so please accept their heartfelt appreciation. Adrian and Helen have chosen this special place because they wanted their marriage to feel right for them. Choosing as always their own individual approach rather than following tradition, they have created this service to reflect their true and honest feelings and to create their special day.

It is more usual at this time to ask ‘Who gives the bride in marriage?’, but I ask simply if she comes of her own will and if she has her family’s blessing.

Helen, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

Helen: Yes, I do.

Judi:
With whom do you come and whose blessings accompany you?
Grant (son): She comes with me, her son, and is accompanied by all of her family’s blessings.

Judi:
We will begin the ceremony by lighting a candle for those who cannot be physically with us. We also wish to remember Charles Miller, John Chapman and Ashleigh Chapman. We will be thinking of them throughout the day.

    Helen:
    Reading – The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
    It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of your hearts longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

    I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow; if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or if you have beome shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from it’s presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon ‘Yes’.

    It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.

    It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

    It doesn’t interest where or what or with whom you shave studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empy moments.

Judi:
Marriage shows a desire by two people to share themselves and their experiences with each other, it shows a willingness to accept each other for who they are as individuals. In this partnership you are making a commitment to developing cooperation, friendship and mutual respect, caring for each other and supporting each other. This calls for honesty, patience and, of course humour. This ceremony is a symbol of Adrian and Helen’s love for one another and of their desire to share this love with their family and friends. The commitment is for life through all the joy and challenges that lie ahead. Their marriage is an affirmation of their commitment to each other and signifies the beginning of a new life together.

Also remember that a successful marriage requires closeness and distance, the closeness of a couple growing together and enough distance to allow each partner to be individual. A good partner in such a marriage will be loving and caring and, above all, a best friend.

It is in this spirit that Adrian and Helen are now before us. In each other’s company they have found a deep happiness, fulfillment and love. They now wish to affirm their relationship with this marriage.

Adrian and Helen, nothing is easier than saying words, and nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed again tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that and the tomorrow after that.

Will you now join hands for the rite of handfasting.

Handfasting was the word used throughout the Celtic lands of Scotland and Northern England to refer to a commitment of betrothal or engagement. It was a ceremony in which the couple publicly declared their intention to marry. It is a ritual in which the bride and groom’s hands are tied together – hence the phrase tying the knot.

Grant can you please lay the ribbon over your mum and Adrian’s hands.

As this knot is tied so your lives are now bound. Into this cloth, into its very fibers, we put all the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves, for your new life together. With the fashioning of this knot do we tie all the desires, dreams, love and happiness wished here in this place to your lives for as long as love shall last. By this cord will you be bound to the vows you are about to make.

Bless these hands that will hold one another in passion and love. Bless these hands that will provide for one another and seek shelter for one another. Bless these hands that will hold your children and will comfort them in grief and hold them in affection.

Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation, all of which brings strength to this union. Hold tight to one another through both good times and bad and watch your strength grow as your bond together becomes forever stronger.


    Ellie
    Reading – I Love You, by Roy Croft

    I love you,
    Not only for what you are,
    But for what I am
    When I am with you.
    I love you,
    Not only for what
    You have made of yourself,
    But for what
    You are making of me.
    I love you
    For the part of me
    That you bring out:
    I love you
    For putting your hand
    Into my heaped-up heart
    And passing over
    All the foolish, weak things
    That you can’t help
    Dimly seeing there,
    And for drawing out
    Into the light
    All the beautiful belongings
    That no one else had looked
    Quite far enough to find.
    I love you because you
    Are helping me to make
    Of the lumber of my life
    Not a tavern
    But a temple;
    Out of the works
    Of my every day
    Not a reproach
    But a song.
    I love you
    Because you have done
    More than any creed
    Could have done
    To make me good,
    And more than any fate
    Could have done
    To make me happy.
    You have done it
    Without a touch
    Without a word,
    Without a sign.
    You have done it
    By being yourself.
    Perhaps that is what
    Being a friend means,
    After all.

Vows
I, Adrian, take you, Helen, to be my wife, my soulmate and one true love. I promise to love you completely, honestly and without restraint, in the best of times and in the worst of times, in life and beyond.

Will you take me to be your husband, so that I can love you forever, and be your best friend. Will you dance with me, even when there’s no music, watch the sun set and the moon rise with me, will you sing in one room while I smile in another, and go with me on long walks and feed the ducks and will you especially promise not to lock me in the back garden while you go shopping? Can we travel the world together, have many adventures, and grow old together gracefully, or disgracefully, whichever suits us best? Will you marry me today?

Helen: I will.

I, Helen, take you, Adrian, to be my husband, my soulmate and one true love. I promise to love you completely, honestly and without restraint, in the best of times and in the worst of times, in life and beyond.

Will you take me to be your wife, so that I can love you forever, and be your best friend. Will you dance with me, even when there’s no music, watch the sun set and the moon rise with me, will you sing in one room while I smile in another and take me on long walks to feed the ducks, and get me frogs for the garden? Can we travel the world together, have many adventures, and grow old together gracefully, or disgracefully, whichever suits us best? Will you marry me today?

Adrian: I will.

Judi:
As you cannot always be physically joinded we will now exchange rings. (Removes the cord)

The exchange of rings is one of the deepest and oldest symbols of marriage. To give a ring in marriage is to say that your love has no beginning and no end. These rings, given by each of you to the other, shows that you are always together in spirit. A circle is a symbool of the sun, the earth and the universe, it is also a symbol of the eternity of truth, love and life, of that which has no beginning and no end. May these rings be a daily reminder to you of your vows to each other and your resolve to live together in unity, love and happiness.

Adrian: As I have given you my hand to hold, I have given you my life to share. This ring symbolises my love for you.

Helen: As I have given you my hand to hold, I have given you my life to share. This ring symbolises my love for you.

Judi:
There is nothing more lovely in life than the union of two people whose love for one another has grown throughout the years. Make your home a haven of rest and peace, a place of happiness for all who enter it, where the old and the young are renewed in each other’s company; a place for music and for laughter, for growing, sharing and love.

As a representative of the Registrar General of Scotland and the Findhorn Foundation I now pronounce you husband and wife. Adrian, you may kiss your wife.

In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different that yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life – one I hope you always remember – the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.

And now is a time for blessings and well-wishing for your new life together.

    Toby:
    This day I married my best friend – Author unknown.

    This day I married my best friend
    The one I laugh with as we share life’s wondrous zest,
    As we find new enjoyments and experience all that’s best.
    The one I live for because the world seems brighter as our happy times are better and our burdens feel much lighter
    The one I love with every fibre of my soul.
    We used to feel vaguely incomplete, now together we are whole.

    Mum:
    Extract from a Native American Wedding ceremony – Author unknown

    May the sun bring you new happiness by day;
    May the moon softly restore you by night;
    May the rain wash away your worries
    And the breeze blow new strength into your being;
    And all the days of your life
    May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.
    Now you will feel no rain
    For each of you will be warmth for the other.
    Now there will be no more loneliness.

    Oliver:
    Tribal Wish of the Iroquois Indian – Author unknown

    May you have a safe tent,
    And no sorrow as you travel.
    May happiness attend you in all your paths.
    May you keep a heart like the morning,
    And may you come slow to the four corners
    Where man says goodnight.

    Sue:
    Apache Blessing – Author unknown

    Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for each other.
    Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be the warmth for the other.
    Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before.
    Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your life together.
    And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

Judi:
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship – as they threaten all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

The Scottish Quaich of Loving Cup is a traditional way of involving family and friends in the ceremony. As the final part of this ceremony, and as their first act as a married couple, Adrian and Helen will drink from their quaich and invite you all to join them in doing this to celebrate their marriage. The couple asks that as you take a sip you make a wish. While the quaich is being passed around, we will be signing the legal documents.

Grant and Oliver pass around the Quaich.

Signing of the schedule.

Presentation of the couple.

We wanted to thank you for all the time you spent preparing for our wedding and conducting such a beautiful ceremony. The whole experience was so wonderful, to be able to choose our own personal words meant a lot to us.

Ann and Ian