Smudging is my ground, centre and healing. I have used smudging for many, many years to connect into a ‘way’ that calls to me – home. To have the opportunity to share this ritual here within these pages feels such a sacred privilege. This ritual may not be for everyone, and lovingly is another way to make a beautiful difference on your wedding day.
A smudging ceremony is a sacred purification ritual that stems from many indigenous cultures. Smudging is used for many reasons ~ clarity, grounding, vision, love, strength, positive energy, clearing of emotions and creative passions and energies. Smudging is said to have cleansing properties and helps strengthen energy for a healthy relationship. Smudging rituals are performed by burning plant resins and herbs (often White Sage) and sharing prayers, intentions and poems either by the celebrant or officiant. The couple can say their own prayers and intentions during the ceremony. White Sage is the typical herb that is used, and sage has grounded from the tradition of the Native North American cultures. It represents clarity, vision, strength, and wisdom.
These rituals help to clear any negative energies and invites harmony into the relationship allowing the couple to start this new phase in their relationship.
The smudging ceremony can take place at any point in your wedding, though it is mostly performed before the wedding vows are said. Your wedding celebrant or officiant will share with your guests the process of the ritual and may ask your guests to take a breath and to feel the words spoken and to be present to the ritual. The resins or herbs will often be held within an abalone shell. The first step is to light the tips of your sage, so they start to smoulder and smoke. I was taught from a Native American Elder to say these words and fan the smoke with either your hand or with feathers.
To the sky (raise shell to sky)
To the earth (raise shell to earth)
To all my relations (rotate shell in clockwise position saying these words)
Your celebrant or officiant will wave the smoke created from the sage bundle around the couple from their heads to their feet. You may also want to choose an intention, affirmation or prayer to make this ritual even more meaningful and in line with your values and love for one another.
When your sage has finished burning, this part of the smudging ritual will come to a close and you are now ready to complete the next step within your wedding ceremony.
This ceremony and ritual are so very different however so beautiful and so meaningful.
Here are some examples of words that can be spoken at your wedding ceremony and remember this is your beautiful day so allow this time to really express your sacred words.
May this smoke cleanse their hearts so that they may be filled with compassion and gratitude.
May their hearts be in truth and grow in balance and joy.
May they walk in beauty, love, and grace.
May they walk with guidance on their life journey together.
May they stay grounded and be reminded how-to walk-in balance, joy, love and in harmony with one another all the days of their lives.
May your hands be cleansed, that they create beautiful things.
May your feet be cleansed, that they might take you where you most need to be.
May your heart be cleansed, that you might hear its messages clearly.
May your throat be cleansed, that you might speak rightly when words are needed.
May your eyes be cleansed, that you might see the signs and wonders of the world.
May this person and space be washed clean by the smoke of these fragrant plants
And may that same smoke carry our prayers spiralling to the heavens.
When finished, close with a prayer of gratitude and continue on with your wedding ceremony and celebrations.
With love and grace xo
Imagery // Morgan Lee Photography // Words written by Robyn Bull