A couple of weeks ago I asked all you young lovers if you fancied an Anglo-Saxon betrothal ceremony, instead of the more run-of-the-mill engagement stuff. Well, I've found a little something to add to it: a pontifical blessing of your bed!
Ever the romantic, me, I've dug out a mid-tenth-century Anglo-Saxon pontifical (the 'Egbert Pontifical' to be precise), and herewith present you all with its rather sweet words, which by the way are to be uttered by an appropriately sober priest (Anglo-Saxon priests may well have been defrocked for lack of sobriety).
Oh, but before I present you with my translation (yes, I had to use my rather dodgy Latin skills to produce this for you), I must explain the accompanying picture.
I know it's a tad saucy, especially if you read its caption, but I just wanted to reassure you that you do not need to follow its example by being in the bed when the priest (or whoever you've asked to oblige you) pronounces the blessing. And so as not to mislead you, the man on the right is not a priest. Why would a priest be holding a big club with which to hit you, come on now!
The Betrothal Blessing:
"God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, bless these young people of yours and sow the seed of eternal life in their minds, in order that whatever for usefulness they consent to, this they may desire to do. Through Jesus Christ, the assessor of men, who is with thee and with thy spirit, bless, O Lord, this bedchamber and all that inhabit it, and in your peace may they remain, and in your favour continue, and may they live in your love, and grow old and be increased in length of days."
That was lovely, wasn't it? Let us all know how you get on with the whole thing. We need details.
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