Wedding of Rev. Reanna and Bert
14 May, Year 5 Aquarius



Above: Rev. Reanna adjusts Bert's corsage prior to the ceremony

On Saturday 14 May, Year 5 Aquarius, we had the great pleasure of attending the handfasting of Rev. Reanna Marie and her long-time love Bert.

Rev. Reanna, now Head of Enchanted Realm Temple (formerly PURE Sanctuary) in Danville, Illinois, had been preparing for the ceremony for months.

Only a month earlier Lady Ruthann and I had attended the final rehearsal at Rev. Reanna's home. Details of logistics, music, and timing were carefully worked out -especially that all-important fail-safe for outdoor weddings, the rain plan. 

And indeed, on the morning of the ceremony it looked as if that rain plan would be necessary, as thunder storms rolled across Vermilion county.

But by late morning the weather cleared, the Sun came out, and the altar was set up under an open sky with confidence.

Right: Guests arriving for the ceremony, including Janice Romack (front) and members of the brides' families


Lady Ruthann, Rev. Ed, Rev. Jason, and I drove from Hoopeston to Danville, arriving at the wedding pavilion well ahead of time. Rev. Ed began setting up the video equipment to record the ceremony, while I changed into my State Robes. By request of Rev. Reanna I was the only person to be in robes, as presiding Cleric.



Above: Rev. Karen Plioplys of Triple Goddess Temple, husband Vince Plioplys and daughters Brandi and Devon chat with Arch Priestess Lady Ruthann before the ceremony
 


Above: First Priestess Lady Krystel and Arch Priestess Lady Ruthann find seating in the pavilion
The guests also began arriving early.

Members of Bert's family were already present when we arrived, and were soon joined by relatives of Reanna.

Many of the guests had come quite a long way to attend.

Rev. Karen Plioplys and her family made the trip down from the Chicago area for the ceremony. Head of Triple Goddess Temple and editor of the Daily Spell online newsletter, Rev. Karen has only recently returned to the Chicago suburbs after several months in Hoopeston running Karen's Koffee. We were all very glad to see her.

Rev. Karen's husband Vince joined Rev. Ed and Rev. Jason in videographing the ceremony, while their children Brandi, Devon, and Felicia helped with still photography.  

Below: Vince Plioplys mans the camera, with help from daughter Felicia



Above: First Elder Lady Bitterwind goes over the Order of Service one last time before the beginning of the ceremony

A number of other prominent area Correllians also attended including Rev. Virginia Powell, Head of Selu Temple, Rev. Stargazer, and Witchschool General Manager Mary Ann.

First Priestess Lady Krystel soon arrived, accompanied by long-time Friend of the Tradition Janice Romack. The Correllian Tradition has always been closely related to Spiritualism and Universalism, and many prominent Friends of the Tradition like Janice hale from these backgrounds.




Above: Rev. Don processes to the altar to begin the ceremony

Altogether five of the seven Correllian Elders turned out for the ceremony, though of the Elders only First Elder Lady Bitterwind, Sponsor of Rev. Reanna as Head of Enchanted Realm Temple, and I were directly involved in the ceremony.

The altar, a triptych of tables, was set up under a tall arch decorated with white fabric. Set with red roses, candles, and elegant glass Chalices for the Toast, the altar was very beautiful. Here too were the cords for handfasting, the tokens (necklaces instead of rings) which the bridal couple would exchange, and other items for the ritual.

Two white doves were hung within the arch, as if flying together, to symbolize Reanna and Bert's love for one another.

When all was in readiness, I processed to the altar and opened the ceremony. I was joined at the altar by Rev. Kim Reffet, previous Head of the Temple, Temple member Marylynn, and Dave a good friend of Bert's. 

Left: Rev. Don, Rev. Kim Reffet, former Head of PURE Sanctuary/Enchanted Realm Temple, and Dave at South wing of the altar.



Above: Dave sets up the circle of incense in which the ceremony will be performed.

Then Dave retired to a side altar from which he would control the music selected for the rite.

Next Rev. Kim smudged the sacred space with sage, making a full circle around the pavilion. Here and there she was obliged to climb over varying impediments in her path, the which she accomplished with her accustomed nimble grace.
 

The first ritual act fell to Dave, who lit a score of incense sticks, and then arranged these in a circle around the ritual area, standing each stick upright in the Earth.

This flooded the ritual space with fragrance, as well as preparing the energy for the sacred ceremony.

Below: Rev. Kim smudges the ritual area


Now Marylynn Blessed Holy Water with which she aspersed the sacred space. 

Like Rev. Kim, Marylynn made a full circuit of the pavilion, aspersing all as she went.

Then Rev. Kim took up the Athame, and cast the Circle of Art about whole pavilion.

We then made our sacred invocations: Rev. Kim invoked the Guardians of the East and South, lighting as she did so the yellow and red glass flower candle holders used by the Temple for the Quarters: Marylynn invoked West and North, lighting the blue and green flower candle holders provided for the purpose.



Above: Marylynn Blesses salt and water 
to make Holy water

I then invoked Goddess and God, and having called upon Them to Bless the ceremony and the nuptial couple, rang the glass bell to signal the beginning of the bridal procession.




Above: Rev. Don invokes God/dess


Above: Guests watch the procession. These ladies are members of Bert's family.



Arch Priestess Ruthann and Rev. Virginia watch the procession

Arch Priestess Bitterwind, First Elder of the Tradition and Rev. Reanna's Sponsor and Advisor as Head of Enchanted Realm, led the bridal couple through the pavilion and out to the open-air altar.



Above: First Elder Lady Bitterwind leads the nuptial couple to the altar, where they will be formally greeted


Above : Arch Priestess Bitterwind leads the bridal couple on toward the altar, sprinkling flower petals (from her garden)  in their path

All eyes were on the bridal couple: Rev. Reanna in an elegant black wedding gown relieved by a white bodice, which she had crafted herself, Bert quite dashing in her black suit and white shirt, with rose corsage.

Reaching the bridal arch, our Lady Bitterwind presented the couple to the altar, then left them to take her place behind the arch.

As she went, the excellent Arch Priestess scattered fragrant flower petals from blossoms she had taken from her own gardens, to ensure that Bert and Reanna's way in life might be made sweet -an ancient act of sympathetic magic.


Above: Kim watches 
the procession

Above: Rev. Virginia Powell of Selu Temple, Rev. Karen Plioplys of Triple Goddess Temple, and Witchschool General Manager Mary Ann watch the procession.



Above: Rev. Don at the altar

Love, as we know, is a matter of the Soul, not of the body alone: it is reborn again and again in endless variations. So the social forms of love too must be allowed to express the varying forms of relationship which Spirit engenders.

Lady Bitterwind is fond of saying "The only good reason for having a Priesthood is to prevent people from putting limitations on their ideas of God."

The excellent Bitterwind now invoked the Beloved Ancestors and asked their Blessing upon the nuptial couple, stressing the continuity of past and future, and the fellowship of Those Who Have Been, Those Who Are, and Those Who Shall Be.

I then stepped forward and spoke of the nature of marriage and the connubial state.



Above: Arch Priestess Bitterwind offers the Blessing of the Ancestor's to the bridal couple



Above: Rev. Reanna and Bert exchange vows

Reanna and Bert then exchanged vows which they had prepared for each other, formally and publicly pledging their love, and celebrating one another.

Then they lit two tapers provided to represent the light of their Inner Flames -the Eternal Flame of God/dess within.

Instead of rings, Bert and Reanna had prepared necklaces for one another to serve as tokens of their love. 

Reanna's necklace held a silver pendant of a broom, while Bert's held a silver pendant  of an Athame. These were now Blessed and exchanged.
This is rarely more true than in regard to matters of love, a subject in which many benighted people seek to imagine limits which Deity clearly did not place there.

I pointed out here that Bert and Reanna were not beginning a new life together -their love is strong and their life together well established, as all who know them know. Rather, they were celebrating in the presence of their family and friends the life of love they have already build, and consecrating their union in a sacred manner before Goddess and before God. 

Below: Bert and Reanna light candles representing their Inner Flame, from which a third candle will be lit to symbolize their love


Below: Bert and Reanna share the Toast from a single glass, to symbolize their union



Using a diabetic testing gadget specially consecrated for the occasion, Bert and Reanna now pricked their thumbs and mingled their blood, following another very ancient custom.

Then the Handfasting cord was brought forward and Blessed. Braided from red, white, and black cords, the colors of the Goddess, the cord was now used for the literal act of "Hand Fasting" -binding together the couples hands to betoken their binding tie. 
After hanging the Blessed Charms around each others necks Bert and Reanna then used their tapers to light a larger third candle, representing their love and  life together. 

They did not extinguish their tapers however for the third flame of their relationship augments rather than consumes their individual flames.

Now the Toast was offered. Reanna and Bert shared their toast from a single Chalice after the ancient manner, symbolizing their unity.



Above: reanna and Bert's treasured dog Gypsy watches the ceremony from the pavilion, bedecked in festive finery of her own.



Above: The act of Handfasting, as Rev. Don ceremonially binds Bert and Reanna's hands together, symbolizing their emotional and spiritual bond to one another

Finally, the Broom was presented and the newly married jumped over it into their bright connubial future.

Before we gave thanks and devoked the Circle, Rev. Reanna gave out gifts to the officiants: she had made dolls from the fabric of her wedding dress, and with each was a silver token matching her own from the ceremony. 


Below: Bert and Reanna Kiss beneath the altar arch. The two doves suspended from the arch represent their love



Above: Reanna and Bert jump the broom, symbolizing their entry into wedded life

My gift however was special: a splendid new wand -a wonderful example of Reanna's art.

And so we gave thanks to the Ancestors, to God/dess, and to the Quarters. Then Rev. Kim devoked the Circle, and we proceeded to "the edible portion of our presentation".

The Temple members now busied themselves setting out food on a long table under the pavilion, as Bert and Reanna greeted and were greeted by their many well-wishers. Chips and a variety of tasty salsas were set out on the tables as the main meal was assembled. As soon the feast was all set out the buffet line formed, and people fell to happy socializing. 



Rev. Reanna and Bert greeting the guests prior to the feast. These are members of Reanna's family

The Feast was delightful consisting of many cold dishes suitable to the hot day: a wide range of fruits and vegetables, several kinds of pickles, deviled eggs, many cheeses, cold meats, juices, sodas and teas -a fine repast.

And of course there were also a variety of tasty deserts. 

Right: Rev. Don and First Priestess Lady Krystel


Right: After the feast Bert and Reanna 
prepare to cut the cake

The feast was followed by the traditional cutting of the wedding cake, in which the nuptial couple feed one another to symbolize their support of each other.

All in all it was a wonderful day, and much enjoyed by all. To Rev. Reanna and Bert we offer our best wishes and sincerest hopes for great happiness -which we are sure they will know.




Above: Members of Rev. Reanna's family 
celebrate with the happy couple

Below: The First Priestess' table. L to R: Arch Priestess Lady Ruthann, Mary Ann, Rev. Virginia, First Priestess Lady Krystel, and Janice Romack



It was wonderful to get to see so many good friends on such a happy occasion, and to be able to meet Reanna and Bert's loved ones. Truly a Blessed time!



Above: Rev. Ed addresses the ladies at the First Priestess' table.

At six o'clock Reanna and Bert bade farewell to the assemblage to set off on their honeymoon. Soon after, the pavilion was deserted as we all went off in our various directions -some to continue merry-making, some to other functions, and some like myself to an evenings rest. Thus ended Rev. Reanna and Bert's nuptial day. The events of the nuptial night are known only to them.


     

Above Left: Marylynn and Kim Above               Right: Rev. Virginia Powell

 
                    

Above: Witchschool General Manager Mary Ann

Right: Devan                Left: Felicia