BLESSING OF RINGS AND EXCHANGE OF RINGS AND COINS, VEIL AND CORD IMPOSITION

May the Lord bless + these rings which you give to each other as a sign of your love, fidelity, and compassion (and these coins as a sign of their mutual assistance to one another.

R.   Amen.

(Groom) N., take this ring as a sign of my love, fidelity, and compassion. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(Bride)N., take this ring as a sign of my love, fidelity, and compassion. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(Groom) N., receive these coins. They are tokens of the care and compassion that extends beyond those things that may be lacking, yet necessary, in our home.

(Bride) I accept these coins.
(Bride) I accept these coins as a sign of your care and compassion that extends even beyond all those events we may enjoy in our home


If a Unity Candle ceremony is desire, it would be inserted here before the Veil and Cord.

(Imposition of Cord with prayer)
May this cord remind you to face your life together courageously and to be mutual in support of each other in carrying out your duties and responsibilities as a couple.

ALL: Amen.

(Imposition of Veil with prayer) Lord, with this veil, which represents this couple's union and mutual surrender to each other, may you always protect N. and N. from any harm and strengthen them to provide continuous moral and spiritual support to each other and their children. May they remain loyal helpmates to each other as they carry life's burden with joy.

The Prayer of the Faithful, Nuptial Blessing and Our Father follow, after which the Cord and Veil are removed.

If a Unity Candle ceremony is desire, it would be inserted here before the Veil and Cord.

HAND FASTING OPTIONS:  The Colors of Handfasting

In traditional Celtic handfasting the ribbons that bind the couple's wrists are made up of thirteen different colors, each with its own special meaning. Here is a list of each color and its meaning.

Red: passion, strength, lust, fertility
Orange: encouragement, attraction, kindness, plenty
Yellow: charm, confidence, joy, balance
Green: finances, fertility, charity, prosperity, health
Blue: tranquility, patience, devotion, sincerity
Purple: Power, piety, sanctity, sentimentality
Black: strength, wisdom, vision, success
White: purity, concentration, meditation, peace
Gray: neutrality, canceling, balance
Pink: unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness
Brown: earth, grounding, talent, telepathy, home
Silver: treasure, values, creativity, inspiration
Gold: energy, wealth, intelligence, longevity


First, the officiant asks the couple to hold hands or place them side by side, then places the handfasting ribbons around the hands and wrists to "join" the couple.

Long Version:

Officiant:  These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

The knots of this binding are not formed by this cord, but by your vows. You hold in your hands and hearts the making or breaking of this union. May your marriage be blessed with patience and dedication, forgiveness and respect, love and understanding. (Officiant Ties the ribbons) 


Short form for the above

With this/theses cord(s), [name] and [name]are bound to the vows they made to each other. (Wrap wrists with the ribbons)

The knots of this binding are not formed by this cord, but by your vows. You hold in your hands and hearts the making or breaking of this union. May your marriage be blessed with patience and dedication, forgiveness and respect, love and understanding. (Officiant Ties the ribbons) 

BLESSING OF HANDS  (Long Version)

(Bride), please face (Groom), and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.

(Bride and Groom should be facing each other, his upturned hands resting in hers.)

These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he pledges his commitment and promises to love you all the days of his life.

These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within your womb.

These are the hands that will give you support as he encourages you to chase down your dreams.

These are the hands that will massage your feet, after long days.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy. They are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief rack your mind.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his love and desire for you.

(Bride kisses the palm of each hand.)

Together, everything you wish for can be realized.

(Groom), please hold (Bride)'s hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you.

(Bride should now place her upturned hands in the Groom's hands.)

These are the hands that are smooth, young, and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her commitment and promises to love you all the days of her life.

These are the hands that will hold your child in tender love, soothing through illness and hurts, supporting and encouraging along the way.

These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams.

These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back after long days.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times. They are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving.

These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope.

(Groom kisses the palm of each hand.)

Together, everything you wish for can be realized.

Lord, bless the hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted to reaching for your perfection. May (Bride) and (Groom) see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter, and guide.

BLESSING OF THE HANDS  (Short Version)

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

UNITY WINE CEREMONY

In the Unity Wine Ceremony the bride and groom each take a carafe of wine and pour into a single glass.  They both drink the mixed wine to symbolize their willingness to share both the joys and disappointments of life.

Officiant:  In this cup you have the fruit of the vine which has grown, like your relationship, under the brightness of love, the winds of difference, and the nurturing you offered each other when tears, like rain, have fallen in times of sorrow and separation.  This wine comes from those grapes crushed to release their goodness, seasoned in oak barrels to change from grape juice to wine and poured out for us at just the right time to give us joy in its flavor and bouquet.

For you today this cup is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another to share in the fullness of your lives.  As you drink from this cup you acknowledge to one another that your lives have become one. 


Officiant hands the glass to the groom who drinks and then offers it to the bride who also drinks before passing it back to the officiant.

Officiant:  As you have shared this cup so may you share your lives together.  May all the sweetness that it holds for you be the sweeter because you have tasted it together.  May you find life’s joys heightened, its bitterness sweetened, and your lives be enriched by God’s blessings upon you.

THE WEDDING WINE BOX CEREMONY

The wedding wine box ceremony and love letter exchange entails the bride and groom writing heartfelt love letters to each other prior to the wedding day. On the day of their wedding, both of the sealed love letters (unread) are placed in a box along with a bottle of wine, two goblets and other mementos.

The wedding officiant explains the box and its contents to wedding guests, clarifying that the box should only be opened should the couple encounter trouble in their marriage or on a predetermined milestone (such as their fifth or tenth wedding anniversary). Once the wedding wine box is opened the wine is to be enjoyed and the love letters read to remind each other of why they chose to marry.

Witnessed by the guests in attendance, the couple performs the ceremonial "Locking of the Box" to symbolize the commitment they are making to each other. Following the wedding, the decorative box is to be displayed in a prominent place in the couple’s home with the key stored in a safe place so that they can unlock and enjoy the contents at the agreed upon time.

Officiant:  A lovingly hand written letter is one of the most romantic and sentimental gestures possible, and this very personal form of communication will preserve all the thoughts and emotions that you are experiencing during a very exciting time in your relationship.  Reading these letters, you will be reminded of the special things that made you fall in love in the first place, and hopefully it will help to put things back on track and renew your faith and commitment to your marriage and each other.

Couple locks the box and the key is kept in a safe place for later retrieval.

WISHING STONE CEREMONY    OPTION 1.

The ritual of the Wishing Stones or Blessing Stones, as they are sometimes called, is a way to include everyone in the wedding by way of offering blessings and good wishes to the newlyweds.  It also is a way to ensure that everyone will make contact with the Bride and Groom at some point during the day.  This ritual may be performed within the actual ceremony (before the Marriage Blessing) or at the conclusion of the service in a receiving line manner.

When the guests arrive at the ceremony, they are given a Blessing Stone along with a note card with words printed on it such as:   My wish for you is, or May you be blessed with, or May God bless you with, to name a few, together with a pen or pencil and during the ceremony the celebrant will explain the significance of the Blessing Stone and how to share their wishes for the newly married couple.

Officiant:  We all recognize that today is a very blessed occasion in the lives of (Groom) and (Bride). You have been invited here today because of your special relationship with them. When you arrived, you received a stone along with a note card. The stones are called “Blessing Stones.”

Since we all wish nothing but the best that life has to offer this couple, I’d like to ask each of you to complete the sentence on the card and sign your name, so your best wishes and your blessings for the bride and groom may always be a reminder of your love for them on this day of celebration.

 

WISHING STONES CEREMONY   OPTION 2

This ceremony involves the bride and groom, bridal party and guests. Each person at the wedding is given a stone, which is cast into a body of water nearby.

Although this ceremony is best conducted near a river, lake, pond or beach, it can easily be adapted to include a large bowl of water.  As each stone is cast into the water, the person casting the stone makes a wish or blessing for the wedding couple.

The rippling effect of the stone hitting the water is a symbol of the wish or blessing being granted.

Officiant:  The ripples that are made in the water represent the love and good wishes not only for this couple, but for all the world. For as our ripples cross and recross one another, so our love and good wishes touch and retouch all those around us and all those with whom we come into contact throughout our lives.

UNITY SAND CEREMONY

The sand ceremony, more formally known as the unity sand ceremony is much like the unity candle.  A basic sand ceremony involves three (typically glass) vessels -- one holding the bride's sand, one holding the groom's sand, and an empty one that will soon hold both, all sitting on a small table or stand.

The officiant explains the meaning of the ceremony and how it relates to the two people getting married.  The officiant invites the groom to pour a bit of his sand (let's call it blue sand) into the empty vessel. Then the officiant invites the bride to do the same with her sand (let's say it's pink).
The bride and groom then pour their sands at the same time, in a single stream, into the vessel.  The officiant closes the ceremony with some words about the inextricable joining of their lives.


The end result is a glass container holding one of blue sand (the groom), one layer of pink sand (the bride), and a top layer of purple sand, showing how the joining of the two have created a new, equally beautiful entity.  It lends itself especially well to blended families, when the bride and/or groom already have children. Having each child (or special relative or friend or parents) pour his or her own colored sand into the vessel along with the couple involves them in the ceremony.  Three options are presented for your consideration.

Couple Only

Officiant:  Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand, one representing you BRIDE and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, GROOM, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.

Couple and children

Officiant:  We are all members of one family, Gods family.  Today as N. and N. have sealed their commitment to each other with the exchange of promises and rings they to make a commitment to their children. We recognize the significant role that (all of children's names) play in this marriage celebrated today. They will now join N. and N. in this commitment to each other by contribution a part of each individual person into one blended family. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of this sand, each representing a member. As the colored sand from each individual is poured into the family's one united container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will become the bond with your family

From this day forward, you will be more than one couple or two individuals – you will be a loving and united family.  You are a family drawn together by Christ's love and held together by devotion.

 

Couple and their Mothers and/or Fathers

Officiant:  N. and N. today you have agreed to share the rest of your lives together as a married couple.  But long before today your parents provided you with a foundation of love and caring which has brought you to this point.

At this time I'd like to invite the mothers (and/or fathers) of N. and N. to come forward and to pour the first layer of sand which represents the basis upon which you will build your lives.

~Mothers pour the sand and then return to their seats.

The union you are making is symbolized by these two individual containers of sand; one representing you, N., and all that you were, and all that you are, and that you will become.

The other one representing you, N., and all that you were, and all that you are, and all that you will become.

As these two containers of sand are poured into a third container, the individual containers of sand will cease to exist but will be joined together as one.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.​