Handfasting (Celtic)

Morgan Llywelyn


This is a copy of a Celtic handfasting I found in the book Finn Mac Cool by Morgan Llywelyn.

Bride and Groom repeat the following together:

You cannot possess me for I belong to myself. But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give. You cannot command me for I am a free person. But I shall serve you in those ways you require and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand. I pledge to you that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night, and the eyes into which I smile in the morning. I pledge to you the first bite from my meat and the first drink from my cup. I pledge to you my living and my dying, each equally in your care. I shall be a shield for your back, and you for mine. I shall not slander you, nor you me. I shall honor you above all others, and when we quarrel, we shall do so in private and tell no strangers our grievances. This is my wedding vow to you. This is the marriage of equals.

The Priest or Priestess says:

These promises you make by the sun and the moon, by fire and water, by day and night, by land and sea. With these vows you swear, by the God and Goddess, to be full partners, each to the other. If one drops the load, the other will pick it up. If one is a discredit to the other, his own honor will be forfeit, generation upon generation, until he repairs that which was damaged and finds that which was lost. Should you fail to keep the oath you pledge today, the elements themselves will reach out and destroy you.


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