A libation is an offering of water, wine or other liquid that represents life, gratitude and remembrance. In September, 2016, I had the honor of working with a couple who wanted to start their wedding with this ritual. Libations are a beautiful offering for outdoor weddings where liquid can be poured directly on the earth. For an indoor wedding, you might choose a beautiful houseplant. The vessel makes a truly special keepsake that you can use again and again for other important occasions.
In this wedding, the guests were invited to repeat the last few words of each line, at which point the couple poured water on the earth in thanksgiving. (One pour after each line)
Kate and Sarah, getting ready to pour - Inbal Sivan Photography
We start by giving our gratitude to the Earth, who gives us all that we need to live a good life. Thank you, Earth (Repeat: Thank you, Earth)
We give our gratitude to the water, to the rains, the rivers, the lakes and oceans. Water nourishes and sustains and delights us. Thank you, Water. (Repeat: Thank you, Water)
We give our thanks to the Plants and Animals. We recognize our responsibility to live in harmony with all of life, and to learn from wisdom they teach. We thank you plants. We thank you, animals. (Repeat: Thank you plants, Thank you animals)
We give our thanks for Sun and Moon and Stars, for the passage of time and order of the universe, for the light and the dark, for illumination and mystery. Thank you, heavens. (Repeat: Thank you, heavens)
Who has come here from places east of us? (guests raised hands) We thank the lands of the East where (the couple) are from. Thank you, East. (Repeat: Thank you, East)
Who has come from the south of here? We thank you, South. (Repeat: Thank you, South)
Who has come from the west? We thank you, West (Repeat: Thank you, West)
Who has come from the North? We thank you, North (Repeat: Thank you, North)
Who knows (the couple) from their time in Michigan? The spirit of that land and the community that celebrated there will continue to be sacred to (the couple), and we are grateful that it is here now, with you. Thank you, Michigan.
And who is here from New York City? We give thanks for the community and the land and the water and the plants and the animals and the heavens that provide home for (the couple). Thank you, New York.
Finally, we give thanks for the ancestors. We honor the ancestors of this land and offer our respect and responsibility for living good lives that contribute to the wellbeing of all. We give thanks for (the couple’s) ancestors whose lives have been the roots that they have grown from. And we remember and offer our love to those friends and family members that we wish could be here today to celebrate with us. Thank you, ancestors.
Kate and Sarah, with me officiating - Inbal Sivan Photography