Monday, November 2, 2009

Meaningful and authentic

One of the ways that Mr. Spaniel and I hope to personalize our ceremony is by finding readings from different faith and cultural traditions that are meaningful to us now, or that speak to our particular backgrounds. This isn't necessarily as simple and straightforward as it sounds, though. In our first year together, we attended three weddings, and at two of them we heard the "Apache Wedding Blessing." It may be familiar to you:

Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place,
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

(You can even buy calligraphic prints of it here or here!)

Sounds sweet and sentimental, right? Old and traditional? The perfect reading for a couple of semi-hippie types like Mr. Spaniel and I? Yeah, except that it's a giant fraud. Mr. Spaniel thought it sounded just a little too perfect and did a quick Google search on it, and discovered that it actually has no connection to any Native American tradition at all, but was instead written for the 1950s Western Broken Arrow by Brooklyn-born Albert Maltz. Naturally, we've decided to continue the search to find something both meaningful and authentic to incorporate into our ceremony.

Am I being too sentimental? Does it matter if this is a real Native American tradition or not?


  1. That sounds really pretty, what a bummer that it isn't real. If it being authentic is really important to you, I say keep looking, at least you can have this as your backup if you don't find something better!

  2. Oh I totally get it with wanting something authentic and traditional. I understand that completely. But for me, what is important is not where the words are coming from or what historical background they have, but rather whether they reflect the thoughts and desires of me and my FH as our vows. I have taken all kinds of bits and pieces of scripture, poems, and things I have found on other blogs to piece together our ceremony verbage and vows. So I say go with your gut and what resonates with you.

  3. I'm not sure it's exactly authenticity that we want (it is authentic Western, I guess!) so much as... honesty. There's something about the background of this particular one that feels so fraudulent! It's like the big joke played on American brides: you think you're getting something old and traditional? You're not; you're getting a movie script. It irks me.


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