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Hazel, what were the words to the Handfast ?

Hazel: We are here today to celebrate the marriage of Tom & Rachael. They ask our blessing, encouragement and life long support for their decision to become husband & wife.

Hazel: It is more than just flesh-to-flesh; it is mind-to-mind, feeling-to-feeling, soul-to-soul in this world & the next. Without family and friends beside them in joy as well as sorrow, this new couple would miss the greatest joys of life outside their own home. They are delighted that you have chosen to witness this ceremony.

Hazel: Remember that this is only a symbol, a celebration, a public recognition. It will not create a relationship that does not already exist. It is their marriage to define, theirs to make real, theirs to live. It is a time for tying a knot in the rope of their lives and saying; we will not slip backwards from here, but will go forward together. It is a time for one thing of which they are certain - their love for one another and their desire for that love to last forever.

Reading Toms’ Dad

May the Road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always on your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain softly fall upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always on your back.
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home,
And may the hand of a friend be always near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you
May pure be the joys that surround you
May true be the hearts that love you.

Hazel: Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought & reflection. As with many aspects of life, it has its cycle, its ups & its downs, its trials & its triumphs. With full understanding of this, Tom & Rachael have come here today to be joined as one. They come from different backgrounds with various life experiences. They have come to combine their two separate lives into one, and they do so with great anticipation for the richness from the union of cultures and traditions that each brings to the relationship.

Mark, [intro]…

Reading Rachael’s Dad

Hazel: A woman is not property to be bought & sold, given and taken, and so I ask simply if she comes of her own will. Rachael, is it true that you come of your own free will and accord?

Rachael: Yes, it is true

Hazel: With whom do you come?

Mark: She comes with me, her father, and is accompanied by all we have shared.

Hazel: Likewise, a man may not be sold or taken. Thomas, is it also true that you come of your own free will and accord?

Tom: Yes, it is true

Hazel: With whom do you come?

Tim: He comes with me, his friend, and is accompanied by all we have shared.

Hazel: Tom & Rachael, the rings you give are without an ending, they speak of eternity. Through our lives are finite, love is everlasting. May the incorruptible substance of these rings represent a love growing with increasing lustre through the years.

Hazel: These rings, given in love, are a testimony to all who bear witness that Tom & Rachael are truly joined together as husband & wife.

Hazel: Thomas, I have not the right to bind thee to Rachael, only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in her hand.

Tom: It is my wish

Hazel: Rachael I have not the right to bind thee to Thomas only you have this right. If it be your wish, say so at this time and place your ring in his hand.

Rachael: It is my wish

Hazel: Thomas, if it your wish for Rachael to be bound to you, place the ring on her finger.

Hazel: Rachael, if it be your wish for Thomas to be bound to you, place the ring on his finger

Hazel: I charge you both to remember that love and loyalty alone will be the foundation of a happy and enduring home. No other human ties are more tender, no other vows are more sacred than those you now assume. Your separate lives are symbolised by the separate rings you now bear. As you exchange them, know that at the moment you are willingly joining your lives. Is this what you wish?

T& R: It is.

Hazel: Then so be it.

Hazel: Just as these rings are a symbol, this cord is a symbol of the lives you have chosen to lead. It has been made to symbolise the intertwining of your lives: red for love, white for honesty and green for growth. Up until this moment you have been separate in thought, word and action. As this cord binds your hands together, your lives become intertwined.

Hazel: As the right hand is to the left hand, may you be forever one, sharing in all things, in love and loyalty for all time to come.

You can not always be physically joined, so the exchange of rings is one of the deepest symbols of marriage. It is a constant reminder, a shared touch between a man & a woman. They will remain after this cord has been removed.

Tom repeat after me:

Hazel (tom) Rachael, I take you as my wife.
I pledge to share my life openly with you
To speak the truth to you in love,
And to honour and cherish you all the days of our lives.
I promise to love and tenderly care for you
For better for worse
For richer for poorer
In sickness and in health
In all storms and fair days we may weather together
For as long as we both shall live.
I promise to respect your needs,
To support you in your endeavours
And encourage you as an individual
Through all changes of our lives

Hazel: Rachael repeat after me:

Hazel (R) Tom, I take you as my husband.
I pledge to share my life openly with you
To speak the truth to you in love,
And to honour and cherish you all the days of our lives.
I promise to love and tenderly care for you
For better for worse
For richer for poorer
In sickness and in health
In all storms and fair days we may weather together
For as long as we both shall live.
I promise to respect your needs,
To support you in your endeavours
And encourage you as an individual
Through all changes of our lives

Hazel: Love is joy bringing you intense pleasure at the very sound of your beloved’s voice, at the very touch of a hand; lifting you from despair and loneliness, to companionship and meaningfulness; love is the richest blessing you can know. Love is communication of your unity with one another.

Thomas, now is the time to tell Rachael what is in your heart.

Thomas: Take this as a symbol of
my love for you
my respect for you
my trust in you
and my faith in us

Carry it with you always
as a symbol
of this day
as I will cary you
in my heart

In return I vow to
work with you
for us
to create the future we want
together there is nothing we cannot do

Hazel: Rachael, now is the time to tell Tom what is in your heart.

Rachael: improv.

Hazel: Thomas & Rachael have expressed their desire to be husband & wife, showing their love and affection by the joining of hands. They have made promises of devotion to each other and have sealed these by the giving and receiving of rings.

Thomas you may kiss the bride.

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