A Fir Tree Ceremony with Carla and Leif

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1 Photo by Joe Larson A Fir Tree Ceremony with Carla and Leif

2 Photo by Joe Larson In December 2011, Carla and Leif contacted me very last minute to be their wedding officiant for a small ceremony to take place up the North Shore of Lake Superior. They had originally planned to be married at the court house and then have a family reception at Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors, Minnesota. Carla remembered that Leif s sister had had a Celebrant wedding and loved the idea! Carla knew this new scenario was very last minute, and, in fact, they themselves had not even had time to think about or make any decisions as to if they would change their court house plans. All they had was a date, reservations, and excited family members! Unfortunately, their date was not available to me, but I told them I wanted to let them know about (and offer to them) a very lovely Scandinavian Fir Tree Unity Ritual, with Blessings, and a Reflection that could be used if they so wished. I mentioned this because I knew they were both Scandinavian. She mentioned how much she loved the idea and that they had, just that very week, been given a small fir tree! Although I did not marry them, I was happy to provide and hear about how their families participated in this lovely and meaningful ritual, and Carla was kind enough to send photos and an account of their unfolding day. Enjoy this very special Fir Tree Blessing Ceremony, and how Carla and Leif used this in their own small, unique ceremony with family and friends on the shores of Lake Superior.

3 The Fir Tree Blessing Ceremony A lovely ritual in the Scandinavian tradition. Fir Trees represent flourishing gifts of love and often newlyweds would plant fir trees near their home s entryway to symbolize their wish for children. The following is my adaptation of this Scandinavian ceremony, which was used by Carla and Leif, who were married at Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors, Minnesota. What you ll need: A table or surface to gather around or next to A small potted fir tree A glass pitcher of water Two smaller glasses for pouring water Any other accessories/adornments you wish! Photo by Joe Larson The Ceremony (to be read or adapted for a Celebrant ceremony) CELEBRANT S INTRODUCTION: (You may replace the words Groom and Bride with the names of each person coming forward for this unity ceremony.) In Norway, where (Groom s) family originates, fir trees are a special gift given to newly wedded couples to symbolize the children to come. And while Groom and Bride both want children (in fact, Bride says she wants a home overflowing with children and animals), the fir tree is also a very fitting symbol for the two of them specifically. Fir trees are long-living evergreens and are thus a symbol of life-long vibrancy and growth fitting well with Groom and Bride s desire to happily grow old together. Fir trees are able to survive under challenging conditions and are thus a symbol of resiliency, stability, and determination. And because their trunks grow tall and straight, they are a reminder that each person can be a pillar of strength for the other in times of difficulty. Groom and Bride will now care for this living fir tree that symbolizes their marriage, by giving it water. Water, the source of all life, is a universal symbol that connects us to the interdependent web of all existence, and to the flow of the individual life we are each given. As Groom and Bride pour some of the water that represents their own lives, we ask that it flow to the roots of the tree, nurturing its growth and vibrancy just as they will nurture the growth and vibrancy of their marriage.

4 Taking their time, Groom and Bride walk over to the small, potted fir tree. They each pick up one of the two glasses and slowly pour some, but not all of the water into the soil. They return to their places. READING: SEVEN WEDDING BLESSINGS (May be read by the Celebrant, Family Members, or adapted to be read by the Groom and Bride) May your marriage enrich your lives. May you work together to build a relationship of substance and quality. May the honesty of your communication build a foundation of understanding, connection, and trust. May you respect each other s individual personality and philosophy, and give each other room to grow and fulfill each other s dreams. May your sense of humor and playful spirit continue to enliven your relationship. May you understand that neither of you is perfect: you are both subject to human frailties: and may your love strengthen when you fall short of each other s expectations. May you be best friends, better together than either of you are apart. REFLECTION: (May be read by the Celebrant, Family Members, or adapted to be read by the Groom and Bride) May your love grow like a beautiful tree. Sending roots deep and branches high, With new beauty every season of your life together. May you always have a special sense of your mission in life together, And may you never tire of the endless possibilities Of exploring your shared existence. And years from now, may you look at one another and be able to say, Photo by Joe Larson With you, I have lived the life I always wanted to live. With you, I have become the person I always longed to be. (The participants may repeat and say these words to each other, together, separately, or guided by the Celebrant )

5 Carla and Leif s Testimonial Everything came together beautifully, including a potted evergreen tree that we happened to receive as a gift that week (after spending some time trying to locate one to buy). Our nieces and nephews decorated the tree for us, and then we wrote each of the 7 blessings on paper hearts cut out of construction paper. During the unity ritual, Leif and I both took turns watering the tree, and then family members read the blessings and hung them on the tree. It was lovely! We had a wonderful two-day retreat with our family at the lodge ice skating, swimming, and enjoying good food/drinks, and we also made it out to do some dog sledding one evening. Thank you again for sharing the wonderful fir tree unity ceremony!

6 Meet Genevieve Genevieve Munoz is a Wedding Officiant, Non-denominational Minister, a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant, and a graduate of the Celebrant Foundation & Institute. As the founder of Genevieve Munoz Ceremonies, LLC, she creates and officiates life-cycle ceremonies for individuals, couples, families, and communities. Genevieve is also available to create and write Celebrant ceremonies for couples worldwide. Visit Genevieve on the web: Phone: (218) The process of working with a Celebrant can be so much fun! We do the work in consultation with you to co-create a ceremony which reflects your unique Story of Love. Just think of all the endless possibilities you have to create a beautiful and meaningful ceremony; one that truly reflects who you are, both individually and as a couple. I would love to discuss your wedding ceremony with you! Please feel free to contact me with any questions or to arrange a no-obligation interview. I look forward to hearing from you! -Genevieve Photos by Joe Larson

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