Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Oathing Stone – Casting Your Vows in Stone!

Filed under: Add-on Ceremonies,Wedding Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Embrace the old European tradition to add a meaningful highlight to your wedding ceremony. The Oathing Stone is an old Scottish tradition where the Bride and Groom place their hands upon a stone while saying their wedding vows.

Called the oathing stone it was thought to be the best way to express your solemn promise in physical form. Taken from the ancient Celtic custom of setting an oath in stone, inclusion of an oathing stone in the vows can be deeply moving.

oathstone2Etching your vows in stone is a sacred symbol across cultures. In the Scottish tradition an oath given near a stone or water was considered more binding. In some areas of Scotland, the couple would carve their names on a tree or a stone. Some of these bridal stones still exist across Scotland.

During the reading of the Bride and Groom’s wedding vows, they hold an Oathing Stone in their hands. It is believed that holding the stone during the reading of the vows casts them into the stone.

In a more modern version, the Oathing Stone can be engraved with the couple’s initials in the middle, accompanied by the groom & bride’s initials and date of their wedding. The source of an oathing stone, what minerals are in it, it’s color, or other characteristics are less important than what is said over the stone.

oathing2After the wedding, the Oathing Stone can be used as a paper weight, or in a shadow box, or decoratively around a candle or vase of flowers, or placed in an aquarium, etc. Be creative! However they are displayed, they will always be a precious keepsake of a special occasion in your life. Give it a place in the garden so your love will grow strong roots and flourish or in a special place in your home to remind you of the vows taken on your wedding day.

oathing1At the wedding, place a bowl filled with mini-Oathing Stones on the guest sign-in table where the guests enter and exit the seating area. When your guests arrive, have ushers or attendants give each guest a small stone while the guests are being seated. Alternatively, a mini-Oathing Stone can also be placed on each wedding chair before the guests arrive. They simply hold the stone in their hand suring the wedding ceremony.

Since (I’m guessing) that most of your guests have not seen this ceremony, I think it might be a good idea to have the ushers or attendants give each guest a program as they enter the ceremony area, that – in addition to the names and wedding ceremony highlights – has a brief explanation about “The Oathing Stone” ceremony. You are welcome to use the following:

The Oathing Stone

During the reading of _____ and_____’s wedding vows, they will be holding an Oathing Stone. It is believed that holding the stone during the reading of the vows, casts them into the stone.

The Oathing Stone ceremony originated in Scotland. It is believed that an oath given near a stone or water was considered more binding. This evolved into the bride and groom holding their hands together on a stone as they repeat their wedding vows.

oathingstoneWhen you arrived, you were given a stone to hold in your hand during the wedding ceremony. _____ and _____ chose these stones as symbols of your special relationship, love, good wishes and heartfelt blessings to them. The stones will serve as a lasting reminder of your presence at their wedding and of the special love that they shared on this their special day.

oathing3

Your stone does not have to be fancy (or engraved), an ordinary river rock will do. It’s the special way in which it was used in your wedding ceremony that is most important.

As you hold the blessing stone tightly in your hand, please reflect for a moment your wishes for this couple for love, happiness, prosperity, and unity.

Following the ceremony, _____ and _____ will invite you to place the stones with your personal blessing for them as a newly married couple into the special container on the gift table as you leave the ceremony area.

Here are the words I wrote for a recent wedding that included the Oathing Stone Ceremony just before the bride and groom did their wedding vows. Their Oathing Stone was on a table behind me (or it can be handed to the minister by someone in the wedding party or a parent) and at the appropriate time, I held the stone up for the guests to see as I recited the following. . . Click here.

NOTE: The photo of the engraved Oathing Stone is courtesy of http://www.etsy.com.

Congratulations to Melissa Yost and Victor Fuentes, married @ 5 p.m., Saturday, October 30, 2010 @ 5 p.m. @ The White House Provencal, Mesa, AZ. Melissa & Victor incorporated the “Oathing Stone” into their wedding ceremony.

My friend, Debbie Sweet, Artemeus Design/artZengraving, Scottsdale, AZ can engrave your Oathing Stone. Call Debbie at: 480-528-8995 or to see other terrific wedding ideas, click here.

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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