The Apache Wedding Prayer is a popular non-denominational recitation that may be used to bless weddings and vow renewal ceremonies. Spiritual, intimate, tender, and heartfelt, these are the words to the Apache Wedding Prayer:
- 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 each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is 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.
~ Apache Wedding Prayer Blessing
The Meaning of the Apache Wedding Blessing
The blessing acknowledges and honors what occurs when two people join their lives together. It foretells that marriage will serve as a shield against rain and cold, which symbolize exterior troubles. It also maintains that marriage will eliminate loneliness since a couple becomes forever companions. And it underscores that although you are two people, you now share one life.
When and How to Use the Apache Wedding Blessing
Couples from different religious backgrounds, same-sex couples, and atheists alike may find the words of the blessing to be inspirational. There's simply no need to invoke a god or a heavenly being to add legitimacy to a vow that two people make to one another.
The blessing does a beautiful job of defining the rewards of committing to another person in marriage and articulating that the bond will provide shelter, warmth, companionship, and a shared life.
It's perfectly okay to use the Apache blessing by itself or as part of a longer invocation. If you are working with an officiant you do not know, print out a copy of it and supply it to him or her prior to your ceremony.
An officiant can adapt these meaningful words to use alone, to recite in the middle of the vows or to wrap up the ceremony as its conclusion. The words of the Apache prayer also can precede or follow language that the couple writes and recites on their own as part of their customized ceremony.
The language in the Apache wedding blessing is a metaphor that evokes the comfort and serenity of a home, i.e. "your dwelling place" that will protect and be shared by two people together.
Is It Real or Is It Fake?
The Apache prayer belongs to a category of historical inventions known as fakelore. While the words themselves are quite real and have been used to seal wedding vows and recited at countless vow renewals, the prayer's provenance has as much to do with Apache native Americans as the Apache dancers of Marseille do.
According to The Economist, "The prayer itself has nothing to do with Apache culture (the prayer was invented for a Hollywood movie called Broken Arrow)." The film, a western sympathetic to native Americans, arrived on movie theatre screens in 1950 and starred Jimmy Stewart, Jeff Chandler and Debra Paget. Alternately, Wikipedia credits the Apache Indian Wedding Blessing to the earlier book Blood Brother, written by Elliott Arnold in 1947.
Words to Remember
The Apache Wedding Blessing is a sentimental favorite with couples who married or renewed their vows to it. As a memento, consider getting a copy of it, framing it, and mounting it in a place of honor in your home. Referring to it, especially during times of stress, can underscore the true blessings of marriage.