We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience

Monday, June 06, 2011

Renewing our Vows

My husband and I have decided to renew our Handfasting vows either this year or next on Mabon as we did when we first got married. The reason we are having our vows renewed on our 10-year instead of waiting for a 20 or 25-year is very simple.

You see, we both got married later in life. I was 37 years old and he was 34. Just like us, our parents are not getting any younger and it is so very important to us to have them there with us as they were before. Both our fathers are now in their early 80's and have rather serious health issues. I know that they would want to be there to celebrate right along with us for this special occasion.

I have put together a Handfasting Renewal of Vows ritual. We have once again asked Lady Sabrina Rhiannon/Rev. Frances Moise to officiate and, to our delight, she has again happily agreed saying, "I can't believe it has been 10 years already!"

The ceremony will be considerably smaller and much more intimate as we will only have our immediate family members and very close friends attending. The only participtants other than my husband, Lady Sabrina Rhiannon (High Priestess) and myself will be my best friend, Judy, who was also a Bridesmaiden in our first wedding. She will be the High Priestess' Attendant.

The ceremony itself will be a reflection of how we have grown as a couple over the past ten years and our vows and pledge will be slightly different from the ones we took in our first Handfasting. The following is the Handfasting Renewal ritual we have chosen to use.

Special items needed:
One tall Blue candle (peace & tranquility)
One tall Pink candle (love & friendship)
One Tall Silver Goddess candle
One tall Gold God candle
Your wedding bands/rings
Blessing bowl (for HPS to bless rings)
Unity Candle
Loaf of Bread
Chalice of wine

Gathering the circle: HPS takes besom and sweeps ritual area as music plays. She sets the besom to one side of the altar and then lights the Pink and Blue Bride and Groom candles on either side of the unity candle. She rings the bell three times. A she casts the circle and calls the corners, Her Attendant (Rhiannon) lights the candles behind her.

HPS:  “Hail and Blessed be!”

The Groom lights the God candle with his blue candle.

HPS:  “We welcome the presence of the Lord to give us His blessings.”

The Bride then lights the Goddess candle with her pink candle.

HPS:  “We welcome the presence of the Lady to give us Her blessings.”

HPS:  “I welcome you, friends and family of Brett and Kim to their handfasting. Today they renew the vows of marriage already made and pledge themselves once more to each other. We share in this sacred moment with them as they stand before this Company in the presence of the Devine and make their promises, one to the other.”

HPS turns to the Groom and says:

“Do you, Brett, come here today of your own free will and seek this handfasting with Kim as a sign of your love for her?”

Groom: “Yes, I do.”

HPS signs the pentacle upon him, sealing him within his promise. She then turns to the Bride and says:

HPS: “Do you, Kim, come here today of your own free will and seek this handfasting with Brett as a sign of your love for her him?”

Bride: “Yes, I do.”

HPS then sign the pentacle upon her, sealing her with her promise. She then faces both and asks them to repeat after her the following ~ one at a time.

(To Groom First then Bride):

“I give to you/ that which is mine to give./My continuing love,/friendship,/honor and respect./I shall be there for you always/and I shall ever strive for your well-being./I pledge to you/ that yours will be the name I cry aloud in the night/and eyes into which/I smile in the morning./I shall honor you/above all others./This is my vow to you./This is a marriage of equals.”

HPS (to Bride and Groom):

“These promises you make by the Sun and Moon, by Fire and water, by day and night, by land and sea. With these vows you swear by the Lord and Lady to be full partners, each to the other. Should one falter, the other shall pick them up again. Should one despair, the other shall comfort them. Should one lose their way, the other shall see them home again.”

HPS:  “By the bringing and sharing of the light, display your intent. Let the two fires of our spirits and love for one another merge as one.”

The couple now lights the Unity candle with the God and Goddess candles.

HPS (to Bride): “Take the hand of your love in yours and repeat after me.

My love,/now do I make my promises to you. /I promise to share laughter in times of joy/to share tears when sorrow touches our lives/to share my dreams and hopes/that our love and minds may continue to grow/to share compassion and understanding/in times of frustration and anger/to share all that I have and all that I am/as always I have.”

HPS” (to Bride) “Take the hand of your love in yours”

(Bride then repeats the same words recited by the HPS)

HPS binds the couple’s wrist together to be handfast and says:

“As your hands are bound by this cord which also represents infinity, so is your partnership held by the symbol of this knot. May it be granted that what is done before the Devine not be undone by any man or woman. Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation. All of which brings strength to this union. Together you are stronger than either of you apart. May you always find the balance within your union, holding tight to one another through both good times and bad, watching as your love grows.”

HPS then blesses the wedding bands/rings by placing them in the Blessing bowl and says:

“In this journey between journeys, in this world between worlds, you have pledged your love and made your vows. Now, give to each other the rings that seal that pledge. I ask the Goddess to bless these symbols of your love anew that they may strengthen in their meaning as each day passes. I ask the God to bless these rings that their shine may remind you of the eternal newness of your lives together with each day a new beginning together. By the blessing of these tokens of your love for one another, so are your lives interlaced. What one experiences, so shall the other. AS honesty and love build, so shall your bond strengthen and grow. These shall serve as eternal reminders of your vow. May the God and Goddess bless you as you reaffirm your love and vows to each other.”

HPS tells the Groom to place the ring on Brides finger. He repeats after her the following:

“I give you this ring as a token of my enduring love for you. May you wear it always as a symbol of the pledges we have made today.”

HPS tells Bride to place the ring on Grooms finger. She repeats after her the following:

“I give you this ring as a token of my enduring love for you. May you wear it always as a symbol of the pledges we have made today.”

HPS performs The Symbolic Great Rite and asks the couple to drink from the chalice of wine in a toast to one another. She then reiki’s the bread and asks the couple to break a piece off and feed it to one other.

HPS makes a Blessing to the couple:

“As the sea is eternal, so is your love; as the wind is all-encompassing, so is your love; as the Earth is solid beneath your feet, so is your love. It is appropriate that you stand beside each other here among these elements which reflect the love you have for one other as you commit yourselves once more to each other today.

You may seal your union with a kiss.”

This concludes the ceremony itself. HPS then thanks the deities and opens the circle in her usual manner.


  1. sounds beautiful! I wish you another 10 and then 100 more.... Love you both!

  2. Thank you so much, my sister ~ and we love you guys, too!!!

    Miss you,


  3. Yes does sound beautiful.

    We are coming up to our 25th wedding anniversary in October - wow it has gone fast.

    Love Leanne

  4. This ceremony will be a symbol of looking forward to many more years together.

  5. I have been honored to be asked to perform a renewal handfasting for some very close friends of mine. I found your ceremony and I think it's perfect. Thank you for posting this, and allowing others to share in this beautiful ceremony you have created.

  6. my husband and i are facing a hard time as he has liver cancer and needs a transplant. we will be having our 20th wedding anniversary in february 2015. we have decided that if he gets through this we will be renewing our vows pagan. we are not practicing but we are both from celtic blood and feel it is more appropriate for this special time. just reading the vows made me cry as i hope i get to say them. thankyou for shareing

  7. Frosty ~ I am so very sorry to hear that you and your husband are going through such a difficult challege. My thoughts and prayers are with you both as you face what is yet to come. I wish you both nothing but the best and I am sure that you will both be enjoying your 20-year together. May the Lord and Lady be with you always!

    Much love and many blessings, my friend ~


  8. I am happy to say that my husband has now had a liver transplant and we are planning to have our handfastning on 4.4.2015 at 4pm ( also a full moon ) it is the 20th year of our marriage, easter Saturday is the day we met, the rest " all the number 4's and the full moon ) just happened to be.

  9. Yeah dear!! I agree with you, we all should have to celebrate our vows every 5 years. This celebration is a symbol of looking forward to many more years together. I liked your vow renewal location.

  10. Hi, my name is Anne. As I was looking for ideas for a Pagan-esque Vow renewal Ceremony, I came across the ceremony you have written. My husband, Ray and I want to renewal ceremony on our 13th (we got married on our 13th anniversary. 13 has always been a lucky number for us, so we want to keep that theme going)Anniversary, which is in 3 years. I know that that's some time from now, but I wanted to allow myself time to customize/memorize the ceremony. Would it be okay to base my ceremony loosely on your ceremony?

    Bright Blessings Always

    1. Merry Meet Anne! Of course you may feel free to use any part of my ceremony if you wish. Brightest Blessings and Blessed be!