When it comes to weddings, the ceremonies can be very varied. There are those who prefer something more traditional, others opt for something more modern and, why not, there are those who seek the most original. For the latter, an interesting option is to celebrate a pagan wedding. But what exactly does this celebration consist of? To answer this question, we have prepared a tour of everything you need to know about it. This includes some history, party traditions, and of course ideas for your pagan wedding vows.
First of all, we have to understand that Paganism is not a form of organized religion. Rather, it is a series of diverse beliefs that are linked to multiple traditions . These include those of Greco-Roman, Celtic, Germanic, and Nordic tribes. What defines paganism is that it distances itself from classical religions, such as Christianity or Judaism. In other words, within this group we are going to find very diverse traditions and cultures.
A little history about paganism
The term “pagan” has changed its meaning throughout history. Initially, the Church authorities used it to designate all those who did not profess the Christian or Jewish faith . It was a pejorative term that sought to discredit any type of belief that did not conform to that of the supposed “true God.” It was a set of practices related to the peasantry, many times polytheistic and with an important diversity.
With the passage of time, all kinds of ancient or current religions that escape the traditional ones were added within the definition of paganism. Even the religious cults of prehistory are included within this definition. Currently, it is not used in a derogatory way, but to describe a series of dispersed beliefs, more or less ancient, that cannot be pigeonholed into traditional religions. However, pagan wedding vows may or may not refer to some kind of deity.
The pagan marriage ceremony
What is currently understood by a pagan wedding is closely related to the Celtic marriage ceremony . It is a tradition that has been rescued and is currently gaining more and more followers.
Generally, the bride and groom are dressed in white symbolizing purity, although they may choose to dress in any other color. It is also common for the bride to wear flowers that represent the emotions of the day and contact with nature . In general, these types of ceremonies are held outdoors.
To carry it out, a pagan priest or priestess leads the ceremony . The guests form a circle around the altar where the bride and groom and the priest are. Everyone must do their part, envisioning good energies for the couple. Then the rings are blessed, generally by the four elements: water, earth, air and fire. It is possible that a candle is lit as a symbol of the couple, and the pagan wedding vows are carried out.
The contracting parties hold hands and the priest intertwines them with a ribbon, making a knot . He then asks the bride and groom for a promise of love and unties the knot of their hands, to finally close the circle. Finally, a typical custom is for the bride and groom to jump a broom to symbolize the passage to a new life.
Examples of pagan wedding vows
Generally, pagan wedding vows are pronounced by the priest who officiates the ceremony. Although the couple also express their vows, they are free to say what they feel at the moment or have previously thought, without any conditioning. We are going to review some of the typical phrases in these pagan holidays.
Pagan wedding vows: cardinal points
The priest pronounces these pagan wedding vows, prior to placing the rings:
“Blessed is this union with the gifts of the east : beginnings that come with the dawn, communion of the heart, the soul, the body and the mind. Be blessed with the gifts of the south : the brightness of the heart, the candor of passion and the warmth of a loving home. Blessed with the gifts of the west : the excitement of a troubled river, the purity with which it clears the storm, and the deep engagement of the ocean. Blessed with the gifts of the north : solid sustenance for building a home, growth, abundance and stability to support each other. ”
Pagan Wedding Vows: The Lasso
These pagan wedding vows are pronounced by the priest as he ties the bride and groom’s hands:
“This tie symbolizes much more than it appears. It is your life, your love, and the eternal connection you have found with each other. The knot that unites you is not formed by a ribbon, but by your vows, your souls and your hearts . Now join in. ”
Pagan Wedding Vows: The Circle
The priest or priestess, invoking the altar circle around which the guests are placed, pronounces these pagan wedding vows:
“The circle is an infinity in itself. It is a magical thing, unalterable but adaptable, a ring without beginning or end. Like this circle, true love is also infinite . Move forward, regardless of difficulties or obstacles. It flourishes in both light and darkness, demanding nothing in return. Love, in its infinite conception, cannot be forced, but neither can it be taken away. It is a gift to ourselves, and with which we honor others from the bottom of our souls. When two people come together to give each other this gift, the universe smiles at us and bathes us with all its blessing. ”
There are many options for pagan wedding vows to celebrate love in a non-traditional way. The ceremony is a moment of encounter and love, where the couple promise each other company and mutual respect . If you are thinking of a pagan wedding, some ideas that we show you here can be of great inspiration.