Celtic Wedding Ceremony

celtic-bird-tattoos-drawing

The Sacrament of

Holy Matrimony

uniting

Piper Lane Morris &

Paul Andrew Davis

15 September 2013

Rev. Charles W. Ellis, III, officiating

 The Greetings

 Dearly beloved, family and friends, we are gathered here today in the sight of The Most Holy One and of this company, to witness the union of Piper and Paul into a covenant of love. In doing so, we honor the traditions of our Celtic ancestors, surrounding the making of marriage vows.


The Caim

 The Caim is an early Celtic custom. “Caim”, in Gaelic, means “circle”, but is more than just a shape. The Caim is a circle of protection, a surrounding with prayer and hope and love which calls upon the Almighty to be eternally present. As a circle has no beginning and no end, so may the Caim blessing be eternal. 

 We draw a circle around the Piper and Paul and their family as a sign of their unity with one another and with God. As the circle is drawn I ask you to say these words after me:

 The Mighty Three,

My protection be,

Encircle me,

 

You are around

My life, My love,

My family and home,

 

Encircle me.

O Sacred Three,

The Mighty Three.

The Community Blessings

We are especially grateful for the values that have been instilled in Piper and Paul from those who have loved and nurtured them.  The family and friends each brings to this marriage will continue to be important in their lives, but now will be shared between them, and will be enriched and enlarged. 

Do you, who are here present, promise and commit yourselves to support and uphold their union?

(Answer:  “We do”)

 Our celebration of the union of Paul and Piper is shared by those who have passed beyond this life.  Their roles in the lives of Paul and Piper are no less remembered and honored as we savor today’s joyous moments.  Join with us, then, in fond memory of all these people, and in particular with Paul’s father Kenneth Davis, Piper’s father Kenneth Morris and her aunt Maggie Ferguson Morris. 

In their memory, let us be silent together…

 

The Lighting of a Unity Candle

The unity candle ceremony is the lighting of candles to symbolize the joining of two families or clans. The outside candles represent the families of the Piper and Paul, and the larger center candle represents the new family formed by the marriage.

During the silence, Paul takes a candle to his mother and Piper takes one to her grandmother to be lit. Paul and Piper then bring forward the side candles, and together light the center candle.

The Handfasting Ritual with Six Cords

Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter this noble state of matrimony, you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives of your growth.

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Yes. We seek to enter.

 I bid you to look into each other’s eyes.

Paul, will you share in Piper’s pain and seek to alleviate it?

I will.

Piper, will you share in Paul’s pain and seek to alleviate it?

I will.

 And so the binding is made. Please join your hands

The first cord is placed on the bride and groom’s hands.

Paul, will you share in Piper’s laughter and look for the brightness and the positive in her?

I will.

Piper, will you share in Paul’s laughter and look for the brightness and positive in him?

I will.

 And so the binding is made.

The second cord is placed on the bride and groom’s hands.

Paul, will you share in Piper’s burdens so that your spirits may grow in this union?

I will.

Piper, will you share in Paul’s burdens so that your spirits may grow in this union?

I will.

And so the binding is made.

The third cord is placed on the hands.

Paul, will you share in Piper’s dreams?

I will.

Piper, will you share in Paul’s dreams?

I will.

 And so the binding is made.

The fourth cord is placed on the hands.

Paul, will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?

I will.

Piper, will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?

I will.

 And so the binding is made.

The fifth cord is placed on the hands.

Paul, will you honor Piper as an equal in this union?

I will.

Piper, will you honor Paul as an equal in this union?

I will.

 And so the binding is made.

The sixth cord is placed on the hands.

 Tie the cords together.

The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but instead by your vows. Whether this union will last or break is in your hands based on your communication, love, honor and trust of one another.

The cords are then removed.

 The Quaich Ceremony

On this your wedding day, we celebrate the Celtic spirit of the anam cara. Anam cara is translated from the Gaelic as “soul friend.” By entering in a partnership with your anam cara, you are joined in an ancient and eternal way with this person whom you most cherish.

In everyone`s life there is a great need for an anam cara and so I ask you to toast one another by repeating the following.

(The Bride and Groom hold the loving cup)

 Piper If you’ll repeat after me:

 Today I recognize Paul, my anam cara

And ask that you become a part of me, in sacred kinship.

With you, I have lost all fear and have found the greatest courage.

I have learned to love and let myself be loved.

With you, I have found a rhythm of grace and gracefulness.

Love has reawakened in my life; a rebirth; a new beginning.
With you my anam cara,
I am understood,
I am home.

Paul If you’ll repeat after me:

 Today I recognize Piper, my anam cara
And ask that you become a part of me, in sacred kinship.
With you, I have lost all fear and have found the greatest courage.
I have learned to love and let myself be loved.

With you, I have found a rhythm of grace and gracefulness.

Love has reawakened in my life; a rebirth; a new beginning.
With you my anam cara,
I am understood,
I am home.

And now, please drink to the love you`ve shared in the past.

(The couple take turns sipping from the loving cup)

Drink to your love in the present, on this your wedding day.

(The couple take turns sipping from the loving cup)

And drink to your love in the future and forever more.

(The couple take turns sipping from the loving cup)


The Celts believed that the way you view your future actually shapes it. I now ask everyone here in the room to take a moment to visualize a future for Piper and Paul. As a group let`s think of the happiness in store for Piper and Paul. Let`s put their joyous future out to the universe.

 The Exchange of Rings

Traditionally, the marriage ceremony is marked by the exchange of rings.  The wedding ring is a symbol of the unbroken circle of love; a reminder that love freely given has no beginning and no end, no giver and no receiver – for each is the giver and each is the receiver. 

May these rings remind you always of the vows you have taken here today.

Paul, please take Piper’s ring, and as you place it on the ring finger of her left hand, repeat after me . . .

I, Paul, do take Piper for my wife

and vow to be mindful in our journey together,

to love her and to cherish her,

to trust in the universal soul,

to have belief in my heart and faith in my mind.

From this day forward our souls will be as one.

 Piper, please take Paul’s ring, and as you place it on the ring finger of his left hand, repeat after me . . .

I, Piper, do take Paul for my husband

and vow to be mindful in our journey together,

to love him and to cherish him,

to trust in the universal soul,

to have belief in my heart and faith in my mind.

From this day forward our souls will be as one.

 Since you love each other in your hearts, and have promised to help each other to live and grow, in wisdom and compassion, with these rings you bind your lives together for as long as you both shall live. 

Having faith in your mind is the last concept of the Celtic trinity. May each of you maintain your independence of mind, respecting each others thoughts and trying to learn from one an another. May positive thoughts always guide you. These candles represent the light that burns away the darkness of ignorance. May you always strive to keep your mind bright, sharp and uncluttered. Your mindfulness will add joy and ease to your marriage.

 

The Pronunciation

 Dear friends and family, since Paul and Piper have thus pledged themselves in the presence of this company and they have spoken the words and performed the rites which unite their lives, I do now, by the powers vested in me as a minister of the Gospel and by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, pronounce that you are husband and wife.

 Paul, you may now kiss the Bride.

 

 I present to you Mr. & Mrs. Paul and Piper Davis.

(c) 2013

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