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Pagan Handfasting Script with Fire, Flowers and Offerings

This Pagan Handfasting ceremony scripts is a great alternative to a traditional wedding. This ceremony includes detailed instructions on how to include pagan rituals in the handfasting ceremony. We encourage you to use this script as is or build on this script for a more personalized ceremony for the couple.

  1. Set up: Choose a meaningful day and place to hold your ceremony. Arrange chairs or blankets for guests in a circle around the ceremonial altar, where the couple and officiant (or Pagan priest or priestess) will stand. Prepare the altar with the spiritual symbols the couple wishes to use. (Often these represent the spirit, the mind, the heart and emotions, and the body). You may also include the wedding rings (unless this is a betrothal ceremony, or if other gifts will be used instead, or if the rings will be presented by a guest), the handfasting cord, candles, incense, or flowers. If a ceremonial fire will be used for the offerings, this can be set up ahead of the ceremony. If the offerings will be burned later, stones or wood may be used to receive the offerings, and burned later.
  2. Around the circle, place flowers and seasonal branches in vases or arranged decoratively. If the couple tends a garden together, they can gather flowers, vines, or grasses there. Use flowers in the bud, and fully bloomed, and incorporate branches with many leaves and those with fewer, to represent the many stages of growth. In front of the altar, place a vase with fresh water, empty except for two flowers, one chosen by each of the partners. Flowers may be chosen based on their symbolic meanings, if desired, or not.
  3. Mark each of the four directions with a symbolic colored ribbons or group of flowers, for example yellow in the east, red in the south, blue in the west, and green in the north, to correspond with each cardinal direction's element (air, fire, water, and earth, respectively).
  4. Before or as the guests arrive, the officiant will walk the circle, grounding themselves and connecting with the purpose of the day. If they wish, they may call to each of the four directions as they walk, and may carry incense or sage. The couple will also ground and calm themselves in their chosen way, preparing for the ritual.

The Handfasting Script

officiant to the gathering

"Welcome, beloved friends and family. We've gathered here today beneath this open sky to celebrate and bless this union between these two souls. As we begin, let us call first upon the gods (specific deities can be named now if desired) and upon our ancestors. To the spirits of those who came before us and who gave us life, and those too who were once of this world and our family, our beloved dead. We ask that all those who wish to be here, join us."

  1. (If there are specific names to be read, they can be read now, "By name, we invite… Be with us here, today, if you wish to be.")
  2. Next, the officiant calls upon the spirits of the four directions, turning to each point in the circle, and asking for the blessings and promises offered by each. If a guest has offered to stand at each point, the minister can speak to them.

officiant facing east

"To the East! I call upon the spirits of the East, the spirits of air, whose energy brings communication and clear connections between heart, mind, and body. Bless us with the promise of growth and fresh beginnings."officiant facing south
"To the South! I ask the spirits of the South, of fire, to bring the warmth of home and heat of passion, and a promise of light in darkness. Bless this union."officiant facing west
"To the West! I call upon the West, spirits of water, that love be deep, forgiving, exciting, and passionate. We ask for the blessing and promise of healing, flexibility, and change."officiant facing north

"To the North! I ask the spirits of the North, the spirits of earth, to bring blessings of steadiness and stability, and the promise of a true home."

  1. Guests are encouraged to hold hands with one another, to honor the energy of the occasion and to strengthen the circle.
  2. The officiant asks each of the couple their names, and then ensures they are present of their own will and desire.

officiant to partner a

"What is your name?"

  • Partner One answers.

officiant to partner B
"What is your name?"

  • Partner Two answers.

officiant to PARTNER A

"[PARTNER A], do you come here to be joined with [PARTNER B]?"PARTNER A TO OFFICIANT

"I do, for they are the beloved of my heart."officiant to PARTNER B
"[PARTNER B], do you come here to be joined with [PARTNER A]?"PARTNER B TO OFFICIANT

"I do, for they are the beloved of my heart."

  1. The OFFICIANT may ask the couple to kneel, or they may remain standing.
  2. Next, there may be a reading of poetry, a meaningful piece of writing, or a song, and the officiant will share a blessing for the couple.

OFFICIANT TO THE GATHERING

"Love like all things of this earth grows gradually, strengthening leaf by leaf and breath by breath with each new day. Bless this couple, that they may tend to their love as we tend to all things on this earth, with nurturing care and patience.

Help them to grow love as boundless as the sky, as steadfast as the mountain, as bountiful as the field, as passionate as the sea, and as assuring as the light. All spirits, all of the earth, and all of us here, bless this couple with company and hope in their darkest days, and laughter and joy in their brightest.

Bless them that their love may continue to grow, always, with each new day."

  1. If kneeling, the couple stands, facing the OFFICIANT.
  2. The OFFICIANT asks them each if they promise to cause no harm to the other, and they answer. This can be done individually or in unison.
  3. If there are rings, the OFFICIANT may hold them briefly above the candle or burning smudge sage in symbolic cleansing, but this is not necessary.
  4. Facing each other, the couple exchanges the rings. If there are other spiritually significant gifts the couple want to offer each other, these are exchanged now. Examples may be stones, gems, keepsakes, or other natural symbols.
  5. The couple share any words, special readings, or personal vows they wish to say to each other.
  6. The couple remain facing and clasp hands, left to right and right to left. (If it's more comfortable and they've decided on this beforehand, the couple can turn side to side, and clasp on one hand together, or any other comfortable combination.)
  7. The officiant lifts the cord or ribbon and wraps it around the wrists loosely, in a figure eight. It can be knotted or draped.
  8. Next an offering is made. An offering is the willing sacrifice of something valuable, you must lose access to the thing. An example is the pouring of honey, wine, and milk onto a fire. If a fire is not permitted, hearth stones or other materials may be used in its place, and later returned to a fire.
  9. When the offering and any final blessing have been made, the officiant announces the couple as either (previously agreed upon commitment) engaged, married for a set time if the marriage is intentionally temporary, married for as long as love lasts, married until death, or bound for eternity.

OFFICIANT TO THE GATHERING

"In this circle, joined by those you know, in front of gods and spirits, known and unknown, the welcome blessings of the four directions, and the ancestors, I announce you handfasted, united for as long as your love shall last."

Note: It is important that a parting thank you and farewell is given to all gods, spirits, directions, and ancestors called to bless the union.

officiant to the gathering

"We thank the spirits of the earth, gods and goddesses, ancestors and our guests and family for joining us here today. We give our love and thanks to the East, to the South, to the West, and to the North. Thank you for blessing this day and union, and we wish you farewell."

  • The couple give their thanks for the blessings, and offer their own farewell to all gods, spirits, directions, and ancestors called.

couple to the gathering

"We thank the spirits of the earth, gods and goddesses, ancestors and our guests and family for joining us here today. We give our love and thanks to the East, to the South, to the West, and to the North. Thank you for blessing this day and union, and we wish you farewell.

  1. The officiant announces the conclusion of the ceremony.
  2. This ritual is ended, let's celebrate!
  3. The couple may be released from the cord (or remain bound until consummation, which is traditional for some Wiccans) and they leave the circle.
  4. A feast and celebration with guests may follow.


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