What should pagan marriage vows contain?

  • For all those interested in Teutons:

    During our honeymoon in Iceland we came across that the "Germanic religion" Asatru (Ásatrúarfélagið) is state recognized alongside Christianity. This includes, for example, that a priest can legally enter into marriages. (Associations are also legally recognized in Sweden and Norway. The Norwegian groups Bifrost and Forn-Sed, for example, are allowed to carry out legally effective ceremonies such as marriages - a marriage concluded by these groups is just as "official" as one concluded by a Christian church.)

    For the wedding or "marriage side" itself:
    With this topic it is very important to grasp the pagan background: Marriage / marriage is only secondary to the connection between two loving people to form a new family. Primarily it is the connection between two clans - with all the implications that this has. It is a contract - marriage comes from êwa, the contract of mutual fidelity. The two individuals who say yes are each part of a clan and the wedding connects both of them. The wedding is an "adoption ritual" in which a non-clan is accepted into the man's clan. One should add here that the woman naturally remains a member of her clan of origin. The vision for us modern people who adhere to the old custom is that we should strive to connect pagan clans into a new network.
    Immediately after this clan aspect comes the aspect of fertility. Already at the time of the marriage vows, a variety of symbols were used to conjure up the fertility of the new family. A custom still known today, the sprinkling of rice, is to be interpreted in this sense, although rice was rather sprinkled in India, with us cereal grains. Thanks to Uncle Ben’s, however, we have more access to rice than to cereal grains.
    The process of a pagan marriage can be imagined as follows: You should first consider whether you want to do a bridal run, i.e. whether the man must symbolically capture the woman. Heiden likes to practice this, but I do not consider the custom to be necessary because the connection between the two clans has already been discussed in detail beforehand. An outdoor ritual place is prepared where both clans (and friends) can meet. The clans line up separately from one another. Bride and groom come to the square accompanied by their best man, but separately. They meet there and the groom escorts the bride to the center of the square where the cult leader is waiting. Before the ceremony, the actual yes-word, the bride goes to the clan of the future husband, introduces herself symbolically and asks for consent to the marriage. The man in turn goes to the woman's clan and asks for the daughter's hand. Then the fathers of both step forward as representatives of the respective clans and shake hands. The couple approaches the cult leader, their hands are symbolically tied with a rune ribbon. The two swear loyalty to each other, whereby one can, for example, take the beautiful saying from the Edda (Sigrdrifomal): "I swear that I want you to be my wife; you are after my heart." To which the woman replies: "I want you best, and I can choose from all men." (In the song it is then pointed out that both confirmed these statements with oaths.) The text suggestion with Ulbrich is also very nice: Bridegroom: "Do you want to be my companion on the path of life, share my joys as well as my trials and - among ours Sun - breathe the spirit of our ancestors? " The bride replies: "Yes, I want that ..." and appends the same question as above, which the man also answers with yes (or should answer ;-).
    The cult leader calls on the goddess War, the goddess to whom vows, but especially marriage vows, are sacred. Other invocations can be added. With regard to the connection between two clans, it should also be considered to call the ancestors of both and ask them to protect the connection. The cult leader then consecrates the connection with a Thor's hammer. Man and woman exchange the rings. A humming follows, which is started by the couple. The clans set up separately mingle and pass the horn around. The bride receives a bunch of keys from the groom's mother, which gives her "domestic authority" and at the same time takes her into the status of a married woman. Then there is a celebration. The groom should also receive a gift from his wife's clan. It is also customary to give bread and salt to the newlyweds. The feast is seasoned with the salt, the bread is eaten by the couple.
    What can be added: The Thrym song (Edda) documents the custom of placing a Thor's hammer in the woman's lap (symbol of fertility). "Bring the hammer, to consecrate the bride! Put Mjöllnir in the bride's lap! Give us together in the name of the war!" (after Häny)
    The same song documents the custom of sprinkling the benches or covering them with cloths. According to Häny and Genzmer, for example, juniper was added to it.
    You can also add the following custom: Before the actual connection between the couple by the cult leader, the witnesses speak positive things about the woman or the man, i.e. praise their qualities (symbolically for the other clan).
    Ulbrich also points out the custom of walking around the hearth. This circumnavigation of the fire (three times) is known throughout the Indo-European region; but since the types of hearth would have changed, one would today burn the bride's wreath of flowers as a sacrifice in the fire.
    For the wedding date, he refers to the early summer with a waxing moon.
    The family chandelier is a very beautiful custom, analogous to the rune ring for the newborn. The candlestick, mostly made of wood, symbol of the new family, is presented by groomsmen.
    Gundarsson speaks of the handover of an "ancestral sword", a sword as a family heirloom, so to speak, which the groom received from his mother and now passes it on to his wife. He does this with the words: "I bring you this sword, the soul of my line, bear it well, my bride! In battle and frith to be by your side, as shall I stand by you aye. On these rings my oath I swear: love and worship to my wife. " (The ritual described by Gundarsson is basically very beautiful.)
    Incidentally, the book "Die Hohe Zeit" by Gerwin / Ulbrich describes very nicely different wedding customs.
    "Wind from the field and from the grain knocks on our wall,
    Cradle creaks her old song, listen, you young farmer.
    Wind from the forest goes around the house, say hello from him,
    Cradle creaks her old song under my feet.
    Because as long as you go on these walls stand
    because with your old song there will be farmers again. "
    [unknown, after ’Ulbrich’]

    There is more to it at ahnensitte.net

    And because it fits so nicely into the picture, a photo of the Icelandic Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, who until his death on July 24th, 1993 was the top god (Allsherjargóði) of the Ásatrúarfélag founded in 1972 (incidentally, he was buried as a Christian).

  • * Wipe dust off the thread *

    the thread is a bit older, but still up-to-date, that's how it will work with us!
    We're just not sure yet whether we should do the ritual with the whole family and followers at the celebration or rather a little later, e.g. at Ostara.

    Are there any other girls (or boys) here who are thinking of marrying pagan / Germanic?

  • I didn't get married Germanic and I won't get married the second time either, but I've been to such a ceremony before and it was great!

    The whole thing took place outside and we all stood around the huge circle of fire ... that was all very moving.

  • Yeah, and I thought I was the only Asatru here. : beer:

    We'll be married by Haimo from VfgH next year. Website vfgh.de

    wintersun: So we do everything in large groups (i.e. registry office and marriage), because the registry office is conveniently integrated into our location (on a castle). There will be some hardcore Catholics there, but we give them the freedom not to participate in the religious ritual, but simply to "stand by" (there were concerns on the part of my sweetheart's relatives, because as a Catholic you are not allowed to use other gods to honor). So everyone is helped, we have everyone with us, they will not go to hell and everyone is happy. : angel: And while I'm already writing: we have THE location for this, a large, very high, but easy to climb rock (has a staircase, how practical) with a great view directly at our party location. Unfortunately I couldn't find any photos on the Internet in a hurry.

    You can of course also integrate a marriage into an annual festival (Ostara fits perfectly, Frey and Freyja are happy).

  • We also have a super castle ruin at our location, but I don't like "onlookers" and if I am to be honest ... some of the people who are invited also do not.

  • We have the castle to ourselves that day. Somebody must surely own the land that belongs to the castle ruins, maybe you can make a reservation there or have access roads blocked for the day ???

  • Hello everybody!
    I am married to my husband for 12 years next year and would like to give him a pagan / Germanic wedding as a present .... give a present, that might sound a little inappropriate. Basically, it's about renewing our marriage vows. Since he is Asatru and I am an atheist, I thought this would be a wonderful setting and certainly a great pleasure for him. Now the only problem is who we could be "trusted" by ?! Has anyone been able to gain experience there? "" We'll be married by Haimo from VfgH next year. Website: vfgh.de
    Unfortunately, the vfgh in NRW has no contact ..... well R-Pf is not far ... but a first-hand report would be something ...
    Hope there is someone out there who can help me further ...

  • PN is on the way. I think it's great that you as an atheist are so open and tolerant of your husband's religion.

    On asa * truar.ning (a kind of Fac * ebook for Asatru) there is also this group called "heathen marriages" there are some married people discussing Asatru with and there are also "experience reports" from the weddings. asatruar.ning.com/group/heidnischheiraten

    As far as I know, you have to register to be able to read along.