I was privileged to attend the wedding of Joe Jones and Jackie Thomas on Monday 3rd June 2002 on the canal bank at Froncysyllte near Llangollen in North Wales. The following is my record of the occasion, with the words used being those used by the (boating) parson, Ian Cardinal.

"As you join in marriage, may life always be a shared adventure, marked by a sense of personal freedom, as well as mutual responsibility. May you find in each other companionship as well as love; understanding as well as compassion; challenge as well as agreement."

"May the home you establish be an island where the pressures of the world can be sorted out and brought into focus; where tensions can be released and understood; where personal needs do not tower over concern for others and where the warmth of humour and love puts crisis into perspective."

"And above all, may you find an ever-richer joy in loving and learning together."

"Joe and Jackie, you stand in the presence of God as man and wife to consecrate your marriage and empower you to keep the covenant and promise you have solemnly declared."

"We swear by peace and love to stand,
Heart to heart and hand to hand.
Mark, 0 Spirit, and hear us now,
Confirming this our Sacred Vow."

"Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no more loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion and may your days together be good and long upon the earth."
(Apache Wedding blessing)

"Will you, the families and friends of Joe and Jackie support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?"

"We will."

"May you be blessed with the strength of heaven -
The light of the sun and the radiance of the moon
The splendour of fire -
The speed of lightning -
The swiftness of wind -
The depth of the sea -
The stability of earth and the firmness of rock."
(Blessing Engraved on Saint Patrick's Breastplate)

and then to Joe and Jackie:

"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields.
May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.
And when eternity beckons at the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days.
May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hands.
And, today, may the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your heads.
(The Irish Wedding Blessing)

And then to all:

"Go forth in the love of God; go forth in hope and joy, knowing that God is with you always. Be merciful in all your ways, kind in heart, and humble in mind. Accept life, and be most patient and tolerant with one another. Forgive as freely as God forgives you. And, above all else, be truly loving. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. We bless you and send you forth on your new journey with love and joy."

"Jumping" the (only just dry enough) mopstick

Setting out on a new voyage..........

.....and coming back!

The wedding party went too...............

Then we all fed our faces!

This is what it looked like from the opposite towpath.

(photo Stephen Bashford)

 Updated on June 7th 2002 by Brian L Dominic

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