This is an amazing, moving middle ages Medieval Wedding ceremony that, although laced with references to God, is not religious. Religion of those times was not a personal sharing of belief experience but instead an institution of the state. References to God, the Bishop, and others were governmental leadership references, not based on religious beliefs.
One can remove the references to God in this Medieval Wedding ceremony, the prayers, etc., but what is left lacks authenticity. Use the ceremony as it stands and take it all as a whole and not as parts.
When this wedding ceremony is conducted, the use of a real sword gives lends it reality. And if the bridal party and officiant (Priest, Minister, etc) wears period garb, it takes on a surreal moment. Be sure to see the related music recommendations in our music section.
- The Priest enters and prepares to receive the men.
- Tee Man and his male escorts arrive to the front.
Knighting of the Brave Escorts
Priest: Know all now that before this solemnization of Man and Woman can occur, and before the fair maidens of the Woman shall enter, let us duly knight these brave men who accompany this Man so that they may be worthy of the presence of our fairest among us (before the women enter).
Priest: Kneel, men, at the alter of God and prepare for the sword of redemption and courage!
As the men kneel down, the Priest stands before each man and taps him on the shoulder with the the sword saying:
Three times whilst I tap thee, once in the name of the King, once in the name of our beloved Bishop, and once in the name of Our God and protector!
Now that thou has knelt at God’s alter and been duly Christened and Tapped, I declare Thee…
Knight (Man’s Name) and repeat for each man.
Medieval Wedding Blessing of the Man
Priest (to the Groom): Kneel down Sir, take thy rightful place in humility before God!
As you have bravely and solemnly come to this place today, know that by all here present and your own actions, you have signified unto our community that you are worthy and ready to care for the woman of your choosing from this day forward. To take they Woman’s hand is by all things true an act of life surpassed only by any subsequent calling to arms. Do you understand and accept the solemnization you are about to engage Sir?
Man answers: Yes, you holiness.
Priest: Then I tap thee also, as I’ve also done for your brave escorts, and make you worthy before our King, Bishop and O Mighty God. And this community celebrates with you now as you prepare to receive your Woman!
Entrance of the Bride
- Entrance of Maidens
- Entrance of any children with nature, bells, and gift for the couple
- Entrance of the Woman with her escort
Priest: Now this is the day and time appointed for betrothal, the persons to be joined are here on this porch/altar and here present with family, friends and neighbor; standing together (Man on the right hand, and the woman on the left). Here also we have Woman with escort who shall give the Woman.
Medieval Wedding Introduction
Priest: Village! We are gathered together here in the sight of God and His bounty of Angels to join together this Man and this Woman in a binding of life; it is an honorable estate, ordained in Paradise, and into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be bound.
Priest: At this day of binding, if any man do alleged and declare any impediment, why they may not be coupled together in Matrimony, by God’s Law, or the Laws of the Realm; and will be bound, and sufficient sureties with him, to the parties; or else put in a Caution (to the full value of such charges as the persons to be married do thereby sustain) to prove his allegation; then the solemnization must be deferred, until such time as the truth be tried.
Crowd responds: It is all well with us, let them marry!
Medieval Wedding The Challenge
If no impediment be alleged, then shall the Priest say unto the Man,
Priest to the Man: Man, Wilt thou have this Woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?
The Man shall answer: I will.
Priest say to the Woman: Woman, wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony?
Wilt thou obey him, and serve him, love, honor, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?
The Woman shall answer: I will.
Medieval Wedding Giving of the Bride
They couple shall then advance unto the Altar, led by the Priest, who shall then turn to the assembled company, and say:
Priest: Who giveth this Woman to be married to this Man?
And the person (escort) who gives the Woman shall answer, and shall place the Woman’s right hand in the hand of the Minister, and then shall retire.
Then shall they give their troth to each other in this manner – The Minister, receiving the Woman at her father’s or friend’s hands, shall cause the
Man with his right hand to take the Woman by her right hand, and to say after him as followeth:
Medieval Wedding Exchange of Vows
I, Man, take thee Woman to my wedded wife,
to have and to hold
from this day forward,
for better for worse,
for richer for poorer,
for fairer or fouler,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us depart,
according to God’s holy ordinance;
and thereunto I grant thee my troth.
Then shall they loose their hands; and the Woman, with her right hand taking the Man by his right hand, shall likewise say after the Minister,
I Woman, take thee Man, to my wedded husband,
to have and to hold from this
day forward, for better for worse,
for richer or poorer,
and in health,
to be bonny and buxom at bed and at board,
to love and to cherish,
till death us depart, according to God’s holy ordinance; and
thereunto I plight thee my troth.
Then shall they again loose their hands; and the Man shall give unto the Woman a Ring, laying the same upon the Book with the accustomed duty to the Priest and Clerk.
And the Priest shall bless the Ring(s) in the following manner:
Medieval Wedding Blessing of the Rings
Bless these Rings, O merciful Lord,
that those who wear them,
that give and receive them,
may be ever faithful to one another,
remain in your peace,
and live and grow old together in your love,
under their own vine and fig
tree, and seeing their children’s children. Amen.
Medieval Wedding Bestowing of the Ring Gift
And the Priest, taking the Ring, shall deliver it to the Man, to put it on the fourth finger of the Woman’s left hand.
And the Man holding the ring there, and taught by the Priest, shall say:
Man: With this Ring I thee wed, (here placing it upon her thumb) and with my body I thee honor, (here placing it upon her index finger) and with all my worldly goods I thee endow; (here placing it upon her ring finger) In the Name of the Father, + and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If it be a double-ring ceremony, let the Woman do the same as the Man, giving him the ring, and repeating the same words as he.
The Medieval Wedding Prayer
They both shall kneel down; and the Priest shall say,
Priest: Let us pray.
O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace, the Author of everlasting life; Send thy blessing upon these thy servants, this man and this woman, whom we bless in thy Name; that as Isaac and Rebecca lived faithfully together, so these persons may surely perform and keep the vows and covenants betwixt them made, whereof this Ring given and received is a token and pledge, and may ever hereafter remain in perfect love and peace together, and live according to thy laws; through our Lord.
Community Medieval Wedding Prayer
And here shall be said the “Our Father.”
“Our Father, who art in heaven above,
So holy be thy name. Your kingdom is upon us
and only thy Will shall we do
Here on the soil you doth provide, as for
your angels in heaven.
We are thankful for our daily bread and spirit
and be forgiving of our faults as we find others faultless
OH Lord turn our eyes from temptations and be our holy protector from evil
For God yours is the entirety of the world, with all power,
And all goodness and might is Yours for eternity.
Medieval Wedding Joining of Man and Woman
Then shall the Priest join their right hands together, and say,
Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.
Then shall the Priest speak unto the people:
For as much as Man and Woman have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth each to the other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a Ring, and by joining of hands; I pronounce therefore that they be Man and Wife together, in the Name of the God, our Bishop, and our King who is the protector of the Holy Spirit and our people. Amen
Medieval Wedding Taking of the Chalice
And if it be the wish of the couple to take the sacred chalice, they may do it together. The Man shall hold the cup and give of it to the Woman and the Woman shall then hold the cup while the Man holds it and she shall direct it towards his mouth as he drinks.
Priest: As this Man and Woman share their first sacramental wine together, let us all say together
As it was, as it is, as it shall always be! Bless our brother and sister oh God and bless our village!
Blessing by the Priest
And the Minister shall add this blessing.
May God bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord mercifully show his favor whilst looking upon you; and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and grace, that ye may so live together in this life, that in the world to come ye may have life everlasting. Amen.
And here the Minister shall turn the couple to the Company, and they may kiss each the other, and then proceed from the Altar.
The couple departs together with hand maidens and knights in the follow.
Priest: May God Bless our community and all here present. Go now to greet our happy couple and be of good cheer and celebrate!