This ceremony is best performed during the during the waxing of the Moon. The bride and groom should be skyclad. It is traditional for the pair to exchange rings. They should be silver and have their Craft Names inscribed in runes. The rings should be on the Altar.
[Erecting the Temple is performed. Priest and Priestess kiss.]
Thegn or Covener: There are those in our midst who seek the bond of Handfasting.
Priestess: Let them be named and brought forward.
Scribe or 2nd Covener: (Groom’s name) is the Man and (Bride’s name) is the Woman.
[Bride and Groom come forward to stand facing the Priest and Priestess. Bride before the Priest and the Groom before the Priestess.]
Priestess: (to Groom) Are you (name)?
Groom: I am.
Priestess: And what is your desire?
Groom: To be made one with (Bride) in the eyes of the Gods and of the Wiccans.
Priest: (To Bride) Are you (name)?
Bride: I am.
Priest: And what is your desire?
Bride: To be made one with (Groom) in the eyes of the Gods and of the Wiccans.
[Priestess takes up Sword and raises it high.]
Priestess: Woden and Freya, here before you stand two of your folk. Witness, now, that which they have to declare.
[Priestess replaces the Sword on the Altar. Taking up her Seax, she holds the point of it to Groom’s chest. Groom repeats the following line for line.]
Priestess: Repeat after me: I, (Name) do come here of my own free will, to seek the Partnership of (Bride’s Name). I come with all love, honor and sincerity, wishing only to become One with her whom I love. Always will I strive for (Bride’s Name)’s happiness and welfare. Her life will I defend before my own. May the Seax be plunged into my heart should I not be sincere in all that I declare. All this I swear in the names of Woden and Freya. May they give me the strength to keep my vows. So be it!
[Priestess lowers her Seax. Priest raises his Seax and, in turn, holds it to the breast of Bride.]
Priest: Repeat after me: I, (Name) do come here of my own free will, to seek the Partnership of (Groom’s Name). I come with all love, honor and sincerity, wishing only to become One with him whom I love. Always will I strive for (Groom’s Name)’s happiness and welfare. His life will I defend before my own. May the Seax be plunged into my heart should I not be sincere in all that I declare. All this I swear in the names of Woden and Freya. May they give me the strength to keep my vows. So be it!
[Priest lowers his Seax. Any vows the Groom and Bride wish to share should come now. Priestess takes up the two rings and sprinkles and censes both. She then hands the Bride’s ring to the Groom, and the Groom’s ring to the Bride.]
Priest: As the grass of the fields and the trees of the woods bend together under to pressures of the storm, so must you both bend when the wind blows strong. But know you that as quickly as the storm comes, so equally quickly may it leave. Yet will you both stand, strong in each other’s strength. As you give love, so will you receive love. As you give strength, so will you receive strength. Together you are one, apart you are nothing.
Priestess: Know you that no two people can be exactly alike, no more can any two people fit together, perfect in every way. There will be times when it will seem hard to give and to love. But see then your reflection as in the woodland pool: when the image of you looks sad or angered, then is the time for you to smile and to love (for it is not fire that puts out fire). In return will the image in the pool smile and love. So change your anger for love, tears for joy. It is no weakness to admit a wrong; more is it a strength and a sign of learning.
Priest: Ever love, help, and respect each other. And then know truly that you are One in the eyes of the Gods and of the Wiccans.
All: So be it!
[Bride and Groom place the ring on the other’s finger and kiss. Then they kiss the Priest and Priestess across the Altar and move about the Circle to be congratulated by the others.
The shall follow Cakes and Ale followed by celebration.]
© Raymond Buckland, 1970, The Tree. Used by Permission.