Ritual: DESTINY AND THE RED CORD by Zita Christian

Ei-ling was delighted that so many members of her family were coming from Taiwan to attend her wedding to Jason. She wanted her mother to have a role in the ceremony but was sensitive to her mother’s concern about speaking in front of all the guests. With that in mind, I wrote a ritual called “Destiny and the Red Cord.” It’s based on a beautiful story from Chinese mythology. The text is below along with stage direction so you can visualize how it might unfold. Notice that the Mother of the Bride didn’t have to speak at all.

The ceremony was held in October at the award-winning Saltwater Farm Vineyard in Stonington, Connecticut. Finding wine for the ritual was a pleasure! GrapesPostFrost Polish_Chinese_CROPPED SaltwaterFarm_aisle Ei-ling_Jason_1SMALL


Poets often write about love. In the 13th century, Jalal ad-Din Rumi wrote, “The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”

Does destiny play a role in love? Who can say. But, there is a Chinese legend that the fatherly God-In-The-Moonlight ties a string around the ankles of the unborn man and woman who are supposed to be husband and wife someday… so that no matter how far apart they are at the beginning, they will eventually find each other.

That idea is echoed in the Chinese wedding ritual of having the couple drink from two wine glasses tied with a red cord. Wine symbolizes the desire that the couple never thirst and that their lives will be filled with health and happiness. The Mother of Bride will help us with the ritual.

Mother of Bride comes to the altar, picks up the red cord, ties it around the two wine glasses, pours a small amount of wine into each glass, and carefully carries the bound glasses to the Bride and Groom.

Drink once for the love you have. Honor the past, the parents, grandparents, and ancestors—all who made it possible for you to be here this day.

The Couple sips.

Drink again for the love you are. Honor the present, the person you have become, and the transformation taking place today.

The Couple sips.

Drink now for the love you share. Honor the future, the “Couple” you will create by your commitment of marriage.

The Couple sips.
Couple returns the still-tied glasses to Mother of Bride who returns them to the altar.

About Zita

Zita brings “Happily Ever After” to life. She is a wedding officiant, ordained interfaith minister, a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®, playwright and multipublished romance novelist. Through Moon River Rituals, Zita creates customized ceremonies for individuals, couples, families, and communities in CT, RI, MA, and NY. She is a proud supporter of marriage equality. To see her handfasting cords, visit www.etsy.com/shop/MoonRiverRituals and www.Facebook.com/MoonRiverRituals. Zita also hosts and produces three television shows: Weddings with Zita, Page 1 and Full Bloom. Watch them on YouTube.com/ZitaTVNetwork. For information about Zita's writing, visit www.ZitaChristian.com, Yes, she wears many hats
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