Celtic & African American, Wine & Chocolate Ritual,
Jumping of the Broom Ritual
- Procession – Fur Elise
- Opening Words
Celebrant: Welcome Family and Friends! Happy Halloween!
We have come together on this festive holiday to bless the marriage of Jane P.
Doe and Joe C. Brown. We your family and friends are here to celebrate your
Halloween is Jane’s favorite holiday. In the ancient Celtic traditions,
Halloween is a time between times. All laws of time and space are suspended for
the evening. As the official end of summer and the turning closer towards
winter, it marks an opening between our world and the spirit world. The veil
between the two worlds is at its thinnest on Halloween night. Legend has it that
spirits intermingle with the living. The tradition of wearing costumes is to
confuse those spirits who may want to do us harm. Yet for us, this night is more
about merriment, trickery and yummy goodies!
We have all had moments of peak experiences where time and space are suspended
and these unusual moments takes on a timeless quality. Halloween will forever be
linked to two such moments for Jane and Joe. They began this process with their
engagement on Halloween. And tonight, they will deepen their bond making a
sacred union whereby their hearts, their bodies and their souls shall be united
as one in marriage for the rest of their days. And it is our honor and privilege
to stand witness. For this blessed act, is magnificent and so tender to behold.
Jane and Joe are so grateful to all of you who have come to share this memorable
occasion with them. You honor them with your presence and your support for them.
At the end of the ceremony, there will be an opportunity for all of us to honor
- Presenting of the Bride and Groom
Celebrant: Who presents the bride in marriage?
Bride’s Family: She gives herself and we share in her giving joyfully.
Celebrant: Who presents the groom in marriage?
Groom’s Family: He gives himself and we share in his giving joyfully.
- 1st Reading – Roy Croft
- Celebrant’s Address
The magic and awe of this season is upon us tonight. Every Fall, it seems as if
this season has been the most spectacular one that we could possibly remember.
The leaves have made a fiery and bold display of the world around us. The chilly
and crisp air fills our lungs with hints of the season to come. We feel
invigorated, yet calm and ready for the winter months ahead.
The beauty, awe and timelessness of this moment transcends even the most
spectacular displays of fall foliage. For here, we have two souls standing
before us to join their lives together.
Jane and Joe, you have that spirit in your relationship and in your lives.
Spectacular, magical, calm, bold, fiery and invigorating are all aspects of your
lives as individuals and together. These aspects will prepare you for the
seasons of marriage to come. In the midst of winter, please remember the silence
and calmness of the season and take time to rest. In the spring, please remember
the magic of rebirth and regeneration and begin something anew. In the summer,
please remember the fiery and awesome moments and spice up your lives together.
And in the fall, please remember the spectacular and invigorating aspects of who
you are together and who you wish to become.
You have a perfect blend of all that is needed in a relationship. You support
each other, listen to each other and respect each other. You both understand
that the other is a gift, a precious gift. Yet, this gift is not yours alone but
one that is shared with the entire world. In your love for each other, may you
find yourselves becoming more than what either of you could be alone. In your
support, the other becomes stronger, more complete. In your listening, the other
is so fully heard that there is peacefulness. And in your respect, the other is
so fully appreciated that they shine so brightly. Your love for each other
becomes a gift unto this world and all who come into contact with you.
Jane and Joe, you are the result of the love of thousands. Today would not be
possible without the love of your parents, grandparents, siblings, extended
family and friends. Today we witness the circle of life. All that was extended
to both of you; stability, love, support and nourishment, will now be extended
beyond yourselves and into the world.
In the spirit of Halloween, we wish to take a moment now to honor all ancestors
and those who could not be with us here today. There are those who could not
make the trip. Some have left us long ago. There are those ancestors that are
unknown to us, who have been the forbearers of the two now before us. Please
bring to mind any and all of your loved ones. With our thoughts, we can add them
to our gathering.
Parents, you have given your children immortal gifts. The light of this marriage
would not be possible without you. Emerson defined success in this way: It is to
leave the world a better place, by virtue of a redeemed social condition, a
patch of a garden or by way of a child. We congratulate you on your success! You
have brought forth life. You have brought forth love. It is most important on
your children’s wedding day that we thank you and bless you.
Jane and Joe, put your relationship on the altar of your lives and dedicate
yourselves to it. Remember, as long as you have this, you have everything.
Beauty and youth fade away, money comes and goes, but your love is
irreplaceable. Love is eternal.
- Declaration of Intent
Celebrant: Since it is your intention to join in marriage, kindly join your
hands and with your hands your hearts.
Wine and Chocolate Ritual
Celebrant: Long ago, wine and chocolate were revered as gifts from the Gods. For
the ancient ones, wine represented the blood and life of the earth and all the
abundance of her harvest. For the ancient Mayans, the rare and desirable
chocolate was revered as ambrosia that would heal you body and soul.
Jane and Joe, as you share these gifts together, you drink from a single cup and
eat from the same table signifying that you are becoming one blood, one family
and one kin.
We invite all to witness here this act of sharing and remembering life’s gifts
of growth from sorrow and sweetness.
(Celebrant holds cup of wine)
The years of life will have some hardships and disappointments, of which this
bitter wine is a symbol, remember to forgive the frailties of one another. Bear
together life’s adversities and be confident that the good will always return.
(Couple sips wine together)
(Celebrant holds chocolate in a dish/plate)
The years of life have indeed, much happiness, joy, hope, healing and goodness,
of which this sweet chocolate is a token. We ask that you eat of it together,
and as you do, earnestly seek the power and wisdom to use all the pleasure and
prosperity that may come to you, with gratitude, modesty, and sympathy for all
those less fortunate than yourselves.
Couple eats chocolate together
As you have shared the wine and chocolate, so may you share your lives. May you
find life’s joys heightened, its bitterness sweetened, and all of life enriched
by a constant love.
(have a linen on hand for faces and fingers!)
Couple: I promise to love you, to remain honest and faithful to you, to be
available for you when you are in pain or grief, and when you are filled with
I promise to challenge you always, to support and nurture you and to be
receptive to the gift of your love.
I love you with all my heart, and I will love you for the rest of my life.
- Rings - Blessing & Exchange
Celebrant: Rings are the ancient symbol, blessed and simple. Round like the sun,
like the eye, like the arms that embrace. Circles, for love that is given comes
back round again and again. Therefore, may these symbols remind you that your
love, like the sun, illumines; that your love, like the eye, must see clearly,
that your love, like arms that embrace, is a grace upon this world.
Couple: As this ring encircles your finger from this day forward, year in and
year out, so will my love forever encircle you. Wear this ring as a symbol of
- 2nd Reading – On Marriage – Kahlil Gibran
- Ritual – Jumping the broom
Celebrant: In the ancient world, the most magical times were the between and
betwixt times. These are the times that were neither day nor night, inside nor
outside but a time in between times. These are the threshold moments and they
carry with them great significance.
We end this ceremony with a Celtic and African tradition of jumping the broom.
Traditionally in the Celtic household, the broom was placed on the threshold of
the house and the couple who wished to be joined, jumped over the broom into
their new life together. In the African tradition, the families would gather in
the evening and the eldest and honored woman of the community would step forward
and perform the ritual for the couple who were choosing to be joined.
This event today marks the beginning of making a home together. It symbolizes
sweeping away the old and welcoming the new. It is also a call of support from
the entire community. We invite Aunt Sandy and Aunt Kaye to step forward.
Please clear away any negativity with a sweep of the broom and create a
threshold for the couple to cross over into their new life together.
Aunt Sandy: I sweep away all negativity and traces of your past life apart. May
you begin your new life together with a clean sweep. (Aunt sweeps.)
Aunt Kaye: As you jump, you leave your old lives behind and begin a new life
together. May your all your journeys in your new life together be smooth and
easy. (Aunt lays the broom.)
Both Aunts: In honor of this ritual we issue a hope and a prayer of sweeping
away barriers between people of different religions or cultures. May these vows
and this marriage be blessed.
(Couple walks over the broom. )
- Closing Blessing – Pronouncement
Celebrant: Do all those assembled affirm this marriage and give it your
blessing? Please answer, “We do!”
Congregation: We do!
Celebrant: I ask that everyone together please repeat after me, “We, your family
and friends, now pronounce you married.”
Congregation: We, your family and friends, now pronounce you married.
Celebrant: It is said that when the one man loves the one woman and the one
woman loves the one man. The very angels desert heaven and sit in that house and
sing for joy.
You may kiss.