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Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Writing About Writing Vows and Ceremonies? I guess?

We're a little off the path of our usual type of post here at WAW, but I figured that if nothing else, this would be a sweet personal update to balance out all the cancer posts lately. On Saturday I got handfasted. Legally it was not a marriage. We are going to have an extended engagement and our handfasting was part of a commitment ceremony to each other. 

I thought that today I would share the text of that ceremony.

Officiant: Thank you for coming. Rhapsody and Chris have combined their favorite parts of several different Celtic and hand fasting ceremonies along with making a few edits to honor the more egalitarian pagan practice of a commitment for a year and a day, to be renewed (or not) each year and a day, rather than for an entire life, and to reflect their own practice of ethical non-monogamy.

Rhapsody and Chris, will you honor and respect one another?

Rhapsody and Chris: We will.

Officiant: Will you support and assist each other in times of pain and sorrow?

Rhapsody and Chris: We will

Officiant: Will you be present in the difficult and challenging times so that you may grow strong in this union? 

Rhapsody and Chris: We will

Officiant: Will you share each other's laughter and joy and look for the brightness and fun in life and the positive in each other? 

Rhapsody and Chris: We will.

Officiant: Is it your intention to bring peace and harmony into your everyday ways of communicating? 

Rhapsody and Chris: It is.

Officiant: Will you get one thing of fries and share them because you don’t need one each?

Rhapsody and Chris: We…might.

Officiant: And when you falter, will you have the courage and commitment to remember these promises and take a step back towards one another with an open heart?

Rhapsody and Chris: We will.

Officiant: Are you willing to make this commitment to each other for at least one year and one day?

Rhapsody and Chris: We are.

[We then read our personal statements to each other.]


Chris, you are a person who… is near me. And there is nothing in my protocol that specifically bars this from happening.

I have so much fun with you. There is so much laughter, even through the tears. I have been intoxicated by you from the moment I first read your profile. I have never met someone that “gets me” the way that you do.

When it comes to the fries… I can’t promise that I’ll try, but I promise that I’ll try to try.

We have been through so much in such a short amount of time. Each major life event could have easily ripped us apart, but instead has deepened and strengthened our relationship. I know vulnerability isn’t always easy, but it’s the glue keeping together what’s become a very sturdy foundation.

I appreciate you, your vulnerability, your emotional honesty, and your “hell yeah” attitude… especially when it comes to doing the dishes.

And we will be together in the dot of the “i”. For all time, always… or a year and a day… whichever comes first.



I do this…thing. I kind of measure the quality of my life in months. We all have bad days and good days, but for me, a real yardstick of how it's going is the month. Good month. Bad month. Challenging but rewarding month.

In the last year, I've had several of the worst months of my entire life. Not hyperbole. The stress of an unplanned pregnancy. A miscarriage. An unknown illness after 47 years of nearly pristine health. Oh dear…turns out it's cancer. Invasive surgery. Lynch syndrome. And a recovery that has only been swift physically. All against the backdrop of a global pandemic that has taken a child from my arms who was mine in every way but genetic material, as well as generally been a nightmare of isolation and stress.

And yet, if I pan out, this has been the happiest year I've ever experienced. Also not hyperbole. It's been so full of laughter and love and support. We walked through hell hold each other's hands, cracking jokes, sharming memes making fun of the local devils and demons, and soothing each other when the flames actually got too hot. 

And for me, it's like all those nightmare months are simply absorbed into a sense of warmth and light that is the last year.

You've been my rock of anchor in raging tides.
You've been my illumination in the darkest places.
You've been my best friend.

I know we make these vows for a year and a day so that we don't get complacent and never take a moment beyond for granted.

But I gotta tell ya, Rhapsody, I like your chances. You are easy to love. And easy to commit to. 

[Officiant holds up the cord]

Officiant: This cord is a symbol of the connection between your two lives. It is strong enough to hold you together during times of struggle yet flexible enough to allow for individuality and personal growth. 

Please join hands.

[Rhapsody and Chris join hands. Officiant loosely loops the cord over our hands during this part]

These are some of the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you.

These are amongst the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands—perhaps joining other hands—that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief racks your mind.

These are two of the many hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are some of the hands that will kill you if you don’t put the seat down.

These are some of the hands that will help pop your pimples, will check your butt to “see if that lesion looks any better today,” and will send you the dankest memes imaginable.

These are hands that will give you support and encourage you to chase your dreams—hands that work with, create with, and build a life together.

The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but instead by your vows, the promises you make in your hearts and uphold each day through your actions. Remember, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union.

Keep this cord as a visible reminder of your promise to one another. And we will return here in a year and a day's time, and renew or dissolve these commitments.

[Then we tie the knot.]


  1. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  2. So beautiful, poignant and funny. Sounds unjust like the two if you. Congratulations!

  3. Love these vows!! And I'm with Rhapsody on the fries issue.

  4. Huge congratulations and wiah for your happiness to grow ❤