Category Archives: Wedding Readings

Origin of the “Benediction of the Apaches”

Benediction of the Apache
Benediction of the Apache

One of the more used readings or benedictions is the Benediction of the Apache. I use this sometimes when people want a Civil ceremony or a ceremony without any prayers but they want something that has a spiritual tone to it.

It has an interesting history that has less to do about Apaches and more to do about modern day fiction. Elizabeth Oakes in the Phoenix examiner writes the following account of the origin of this Benediction. Her web site can be found at (click here) and the following is what she writes about it.

“The original text of the “Apache Wedding Prayer” derives from Elliott Arnold’s 1947 novel Blood Brother, which was adapted into a screenplay for the 1950 Jimmy Stewart/Jeff Chandler film Broken Arrow. The book and film are fictionalized accounts of the historically-documented friendship betweem Tom Jeffords and the Apache leader Cochise during the Apache Wars.

To keep the fictionalized Tom Jeffords company, Arnold invented a beautiful young Apache maiden named Sonseeahray as a love interest and, as Arnold concedes in the book’s preface, he also invented the wedding rite depicted in the book. No such Apache ritual exists, according to historians John E. O’Connor and Angela Aleiss; Arnold’s wording of the “ceremony of love” is significantly different from the version we know today:”

“Now for you there is no rain,
For one is shelter to the other.
Now for you there is no sun,
For one is shelter to the other.
Now for you nothing is hard or bad,
For the hardness and the badness is taken by one for the other….”

Here is the version that is used most often. ”

Benediction of the Apaches

“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 you.
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only 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”

Celtic Wedding Blessing

Here is a Blessing you may include in your ceremony.

Celtic Wedding Blessing

Celtic Wedding BlessingMay your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace. 
May your troubles grow few as your blessings increase. 
Be no worse than the happiest day of your past. 
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship 
And your hearts joined forever in love. 
Your lives are very special, 
God has touched you in many ways. 
May his blessings rest upon you 
and fill all your coming days.

Blessing of the Hands

A very popular reading at weddings recently is called the “Blessing of the Hands”.  It is usually done by having the couples face each other, holding both hands, and looking down at the hands they are holding. At that time the following passage is read.

“Blessing of the Hands”

“These are the hands of your best friend,

 young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. 

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. 

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. 

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”