"We stand firmly here on the Land, the land that is our foundation, the land
that is ever beneath us, the land that is our sure footing. We are
surrounded by the Sea, the sea that nurtures and envelops us, the sea that
is our eternal cloak. The Sky is above us, the sky who watches, the sky who
protects us, the sky who is our endless guard. We are here in endless time
and space, here in the Center of the Three Realms, the center of the Cosmos,
the Center of the ALL THERE IS."

"We are here in the midst of the Old Ones--the creative power of the cosmos,
the binding energy of the universe, life force of ALL THAT IS. We stand
centered with our feet on the ground of mother Earth out of whose depths
comes the bounty that makes our lives possible. We stand with the sky above
us--sheltering us, guarding us, holding sun and moon and skies and rainbows
and clouds all a part of the plan to keep us safe and secure. We stand
surrounded by the water of life that is the sea and all the moisture that
gives life to both our bodies and the earth herself--nurtured, rocked in
peace by the waves on the beach or the tumbling falls. We stand in the midst
of all that has been created, the beauty that has been given to us."

"And as we stand here, so surrounded and sheltered and held, we feel the
love of the Divine Ones swirling around us. The very creative forces of the
universe and the Gods that our people have sworn by from time out of mind
are with us here to honor this occasion of the handfasting of their
children, . Ancestors bride and groom>both are here with us to add their blessing and their
strength and guidance for the road ahead. The Spirits of this land that we
have worked and loved and have come to call home are here to watch and to
acknowledge and to bless and to remind us of our responsibility to the land.
We honor the Gods and the Ancestors and the Spirits of the Land and all who
are assembled as we witness the vows that our children have for each other."

To the Bride and Groom

To the Groom by name "When you became a man in the eyes of this people you

Not to take life just for the sake of killing
Not to kill a beast lying down, or a bird sitting
Not to kill the mother of a brood, or an unfledged bird
Not to kill the mother of a suckling, or a suckling beast

Not to sow seed just for the sake of sowing
Not to take advantage of a person whose wits are not about her
Not to sow seed on another's mother or wife, nor on a person who knows not
the consequences.
Not to sow seed on the mother of a suckling babe, or a babe."

"Are you now ready to take another vow to build a life with this woman, to
build a household and your own hearth?" This is not an easy task. There
will be moments of great joy and moments of great passion, but there will
also be moments when you are sure that the vision of liveliness you see
before you today has been maniacally transformed into the most irritating,
most annoying woman on the face of the planet. It is easy to hold to your
commitment when there is joy or passion, but it is the vow you say today
that will give your heart room to celebrate your love even in the midst of
the most trying of times.

The Groom to answer in the affirmative in his own words.

 To the Bride by name " When you became a woman of this people you vowed:*

As an honorable woman of your clan, to:
Respect your woman's body with the care of a mother and the protection of a
Honor your woman's mind with the challenge of strong thought and firm
Empower your woman's spirit with the passion of truth and cultivation of

All these things you vowed in the names of the Gods your clan swears by."

"Are you now ready to take a vow to build a life with this man, to become
the heart of your own hearth?" Tis not an easy task, my dear one. You will
have moments when liquid love for you shines out of his eyes, and there will
be moments that his touch excites you with fire, but there will also be
times when you are sure that you are in the presence of the most
exasperating, most opinionated, most irritating man in all the cosmos. It
is in those times, that the words you say here today open your being to true
compassion and absolute unconditional love.

The Bride to answer in the affirmative in her own words.

Name of groom, are you willing to treasure this woman and honor her, protect
her and joy in her? Are you willing to support her not only physically, but
also emotionally and spiritually? If there are children involved you may add
this. Are you willing to be in the place of father/mother to her/his
children and teach them and nourish them as if they were flesh of your
flesh? Name of bride, Are you willing to treasure this man, honor and care
for him and joy in him? Are you willing to support him not only physically,
but also emotionally and spiritually? If there are children involved, you
may add this Are you willing to share your children with him/her as you
truly blend many into one? Names of children, are you willing to be
respectful to the Elders the Gods have gifted you with and be a part of this
hearth? If you are so willing, now is the time to speak the words of the
commitment you make to each other.

The Bride, Groom and children if they are present speak the words they have
for each other and rings or other gifts can be exchanged.

Blessings (Specific blessings may be asked of patron saints, specific
Deities or other Divine entities as specific to the people being married.)

We ask the blessing of the Gods we swear by for these two people as they
bind together these two Clans and their lives. We ask that in times of joy
you would be present in their laughter, in times of trouble you would be
their strength, in times of seeking you would be there to guide and in the
changing times of human lives you would be the grounding and foundation that
is unchanging. We honor you for your presence and your blessing.

Bride's blessing (or insert blessing of other matron or saint)
Bless this hearth Brid
That your fire might kindle our spirits and warm our hearts
Let our household echo laughter.
Filled with love where there was once hate
Joy where sadness dwelled
Warmth where we were once cold.
Guide us to peace
Lead us to love
And hold us close in your arms.
Hail to Brid, Lady of fire, burn bright here.#

Manannan's blessing (Or blessing of other patron or saint)

Manannan- we ask your blessing on this hearth and these two so that when the
waves come in their lives, they might ride over them smoothly even as your
chariot rides over the waves of the sea. When enemies seek to come against
them, defend them and keep them in the eye of the storm. Let your
treasures be blessings in their lives of truth, strength, plenty and
protection from harm and the best of all blessings, that of laughter.
Manannan, let the sea that is our very life blood, nurture this union and
make this hearth strong.

And of course, you have my blessing. May your hearts be filled with joy.
May your hearth prosper. May your children grow into honorable men and
women. May your compassion assuage your anger when it threatens to erupt.
May your tolerance stay your tongue when it has sharpened itself into a
cutting blade. May your patience with each other manifest in the spirit of
compromise in the midst of differences. May you be strength for each other
in times of weakness and ill health. May you be comfort for each other in
times of sorrow. May the love you have for each other manifest as peace in
your hearth.

In the name of the Old Ones who have many names and many faces, known and
unknown, In the name of the Gods our people have been swearing by from time
immemorial, In the name of the One many of our people now swear by, in the
presence of the ancestors, in the presence of the land spirits, in the
presence of friends and family, I celebrate the love that is between you,
I acknowledge the commitment made in your vows to each other, and I
recognize your union.

Three things a person gains when their mate endeavors to be excellent: their
household peaceful for love of them, their children gentle in manners, and
the respect of their neighbors.

You may kiss the bride.

© 1998 Alix MacIntyre Hall

*taken from The Book Of Rites...Coming Of Age by Sítheag Nic Trantham bean
Bochanan ©1997 Clannada na Gadelica

#prayer to Bride written by Cristina FitzSimmons