The forecast is sunny and warm and we are all eagerly awaiting the eclipse tomorrow. My partner is working on a CD project for our friend Marc Silber and the music drifting downstairs to the office reminds me to post some more handfasting song suggestions.
First, there are a couple of sites popping up with general advice for handfasting couples: Oak & Mistletoe at http://www.wedding.oakandmistletoe.com.au/vows/ has sample vows and the general overall structure you will need to make it a legally recognized wedding in the US, Canada, and the UK. I will add others as they come up. Please feel free to add your links in the comments section below. (Warning: this page is moderated, proselytizing messages for other religions will be deleted.)
While exploring this music, I realized that all of these songs are infinitely suitable for rituals celebrating the heiros gamnos (holy marriage of Earth & Sky) at Beltane or Midsummer. The thought – also– has come to me that a songbook might be really helpful for couples (along with their friends and families) in planning their Big Event. More thoughts on this to come…there is a lot to think about when considering publishing music in print form (or POD). Obtaining good sheet music and permissions from the songwriters is just the beginning. While I may need to tap a musician as a co-author, please send me your suggestions and experiences in doing this kind of project. while on the subject of books, it is very important that, when you create the “order of service” for your handfasting, that you credit the songwriters and composers of the music that you use. This simple courtesy is often left out, and it should not be. If you love it enough to use it on your handfasting day, then a thank you! to the songwriter is a small thing to do.
In the “Pagan song cannon” are some beautiful songs by Deborah and Rick Hamouris’ on their classic 1986 recording Welcome to Annwfn. Available from CB Baby @ http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hamouris (clips and downloads are also to be found here.) In particular, Strolling Song, the classic chant We Are a Circle, and Love as a River lend themselves to handfasting planning. We are a Circle is widely used, often without crediting the songwriters, and in questionable time signatures. It never hurts to consult the original.
Also in the cannon is Demeter’s Song by Starhawk (1983); a beautiful blessing song designed for prosperity and good fortune and sung at events from Reclaiming’s annual Spiral Dance to smaller sabbats everywhere. From Let It Begin Now: Music from the Spiral Dance, which can be ordered from the Reclaiming Quarterly. Also on Moonrise: Demeter’s Song available on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Demeters-Song/dp/B0031G7F6M (A lyric sheet can be found here: http://www.katrinamessenger.com/demeters_song) A tiny bit of tweaking here and there, and this song could easily form the basis for handfasting vows.
My linked entries for today are songs by New Mexico’s singer/songwriter, Celia Farran. All links include lyrics and a downloadable MP3. (all songs are copyrighted: By Celia © 2012 Red Granite Goddess ASCAP )
This is terrific for the meditative opening of any ritual: Ground, Center, & Shield also on For The Asking. http://www.celiaonline.com/music/?lyrics=ground-center-shield?pk=54
A nice song to call the gathered celebrants to the circle: “For The Asking” http://www.celiaonline.com/music/?lyrics=for-the-asking-3%3Fpk%3D54
This is fun –Please Take My Hand on Carry Me Home. (3:51) http://www.celiaonline.com/music/?lyrics=please-take-my-hand-2
Also on Carry Me Home is a lovely blessing song that is useful for creating sacred space: Bless This Space (3:28) http://www.celiaonline.com/music/?lyrics=please-bless-this-space-2
Enjoy and— remember: laugh … kiss your sweetie often …and, breathe… especially when trying on your gown!