“This glass bowl is filled with fresh mountain spring water, cedar from the forest, and stones worn smooth by ocean waves. Glass is clear and signifies the authenticity, wisdom and integrity Sandra and Gerry bring to their marriage. Water is sacred and necessary to life. Stone symbolizes the earth, offering the blessings of the natural world. An abalone shell used for ceremonial purposes brings the inspiration of our coastal first nations peoples into the ritual, for they are deeply woven into this land we stand upon today.”
Before making their marriage vows, I led Sandra and Gerry in the cleansing of their hands to imbue them with fresh energy. Why? Because a couples hands are an integral part of their marriage journey, in the building of their future together. And when a couple have had other marriages it is important to begin anew.
In this marriage, the couple’s hands will cradle the baby chicks on their farm… groom their beloved horses… clear land… make nourishing meals…passionately cherish each others body through the years, entwine on walks, and weave love into the very fabric of their life together.
I asked Gerry’s two daughters to help me with this ritual. One carefully held the bowl, the other gently dried the couple’s hands with a pristine white cloth. Tenderness, tears, hope. It was all there.
. . .
The ‘work’ of a couple’s hands in their marriage is beautiful to contemplate and to take time to honour. And I can tell you that afterwards many guests sought me out to share about how moved they were by the ritual, naming it a sacred moment.
Being a Wedding Celebrant means calling forth stories and bringing to life wedding rituals and traditions for my couples and their families. It makes my own life richer.
Celebrant Michele Davidson