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    Andy78
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Ddraig-Cyfrinachau - 11. Chapter 11

“First Servant, I have read your petition, and I must say that the Council has reservations. As you are aware there has not been a Bonding Ritual in nearly a hundred years, but of course that is not a particular concern to us. What is a concern to us is that you have requested to perform the Bonding Ritual not only on a gay couple, but on a gay couple who have not even reached the age of consent. The Council finds this troubling, and shows a serious lack of judgement on your part.”

“Members of the Council, what right do I have to refuse a couple in love my blessing of their union?”

“You have the right when it does not conform to our laws, First Servant. The laws governing the Bonding Ritual are clear; the ritual is between a man and woman. The law clearly spells that out, and leaves no room for interpretation.”

“There is a greater law in place here! The law of Her Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland!” The First Servant, for being an elderly man who is kind and gentle and who always has a smile, can vent anger and frustration with the force of a volcanic eruption. “Following the Chiltern Massacre, this Council was forced to acknowledge and obey those laws! It led to the review and revision of many of our antiquated laws. Under United Kingdom laws today, discrimination based on sexual identity and sexual preference is illegal. Gay couples are now allowed to enter into civil partnerships, gays can serve openly in the armed forces, and the appearance of a gay scene in a film no longer gets that film an adult rating. By this Council denying my request, you are in violation not only of those laws, but of basic human decency!”

“First Servant your point is well made, however you are forgetting one vital piece of information. Under neither our laws, nor the laws of the United Kingdom, is Thomas permitted to engage in a civil partnership as he is only fifteen years old; he will need to wait until he is at least eighteen years old.”

“Council members, you know as well I do, that the Bonding Ritual is not a ceremony of marriage, but a ceremony of pledging of one person to spend their life with another. The bonding is no different than an engagement, and under UK laws there is no minimum age at which a couple may get engaged.”

The Council briefly deliberated on the First Servant’s petition. There were a lot of hushed vocalisations, lots of arm waving, and lots of notes being passed back and forth. After almost half an hour of deliberations the First Servant was summoned back.

“First Servant, the Council has decided to grant you permission to perform the Bonding Ritual. Let the record further show that on this date, as a result of today’s deliberations, a motion was made in chambers to incorporate all current United Kingdom equality laws into our legal framework. The motion was passed unanimously on a 19-0 vote with no abstentions.”

“I thank the Council for its wisdom in this matter and I am sure this news will be greeted warmly on all fronts. I would like to take my leave of this Council as I have many preparations to make if I am to leave today.”

“You have our leave First Servant. Would you please pass our blessings along to Thomas when you see him?”

“Of course.” The First Servant exited the chambers and retreated to his private study.

 

Journal entry April 17th

I have successfully argued for me to be allowed to perform the Bonding Ritual. The Council have also made a surprising concession, one I did not see coming, regarding equality laws. I have seen much in my eighty six years on this planet, but the one thing that has been a constant is segregation and persecution. There has always been one group of people, at one time or another, in one place or another, who have struggled to obtain even the most basic of rights. With the amount of bloodshed and the number of deaths over the past hundred years of protesting, why is it still so hard to get equal rights for people?

I would have hoped by now we would have learned enough from our mistakes. I should simply have been able to say ‘OK, here are two boys who care about each other and I want to perform their bonding’, and have the Council say ‘Yeah, sounds great, save me a seat’, not having to submit a bloody fifty page petition and then having to beat them about the head with it for three hours.

 

The First Servant’s journey to London was uneventful and he arrived late in the afternoon.

Thomas opened the door. “First Servant, welcome. Please, won’t you come in.”

“Thank you Thomas. How much have you told Alex and his mum?”

“I have told them that there are things I want to tell them about me and about my family, but I am not allowed to share it outside of my family. I have explained about the Bonding Ritual and what it will mean for Alex and I. I have also told them that it is an ancient Celtic tradition and a tradition I wish to honour.

“I think Alex’s mum is more concerned about this than Alex; she keeps asking why this ritual is necessary, if I’m in some kind of cult and why you need to come to perform this ritual. You know it’s kind of hard to answer those questions when I’m not allowed to tell them anything. I have however, managed to convince them that the ritual is required and that I would do nothing that would harm Alex.”

Thomas escorted the First Servant into the dining room where the ritual was top take place.

“First Servant, this is Alex and his mum, Joanne.”

“A pleasure to meet you both. I’m sure it would be more pleasurable if it were not under quite such bizarre circumstances.”

After a round of “hello’s” and “how do you do’s”, they sat down over coffee and got to know each other a little better prior to the ritual taking place.

As midnight approached, Thomas and Alex stood in front of the First Servant, with Joanne on Alex’s right hand side.

“Thomas, Alex, please join your left hands. Now, normally this ritual would be conducted in Welsh, but for obvious reasons I shall perform it in English. First is the exchange of pledges.

“Thomas Taliesin Llewellyn, do you pledge to stand by this boy for all time?”

“I so pledge.”

“Thomas Taliesin Llewellyn, do you pledge to love and cherish this boy for all time?”

“I so pledge.”

“Thomas Taliesin Llewellyn, do you pledge to protect this boy from all of the world’s evils for all time?”

“I so pledge.”

“Alexander Michael Tobias Munroe, do you pledge to stand by this boy for all time?”

“I so pledge.”

“Alexander Michael Tobias Munroe, do you pledge to love and cherish this boy for all time?”

“I so pledge.”

“Alexander Michael Tobias Munroe, do you pledge to protect this boy from all of the world’s evils for all time?”

“I so pledge.”

The First Servant then removed four pieces of silk, each about three feet in length, from a box and placed them on the table next him.

“Who gives Alexander to the boy he loves?”

“I, Joanne Munroe, mother of Alexander, give him to the boy he loves.”

“Who gives Thomas to the boy he loves?”

“I, Joanne Munroe, guardian of Thomas, give him to the boy he loves.”

“Now to perform the Bonding Ritual itself.” The First Servant picked up the green piece of silk. “The green represents life, it represents the forest and the trees, it represents the birth of all things and it is the very essence of Nature herself.” The First Servant slowly wrapped the green piece of silk around their joined hands. “In the name of life, I bind Thomas and Alexander to the pledges that they each have made.”

Thomas and Alex looked at each other and said, “Heart to thee. Soul to thee. Body to thee. For ever and always.”

The First Servant then picked up the red piece of silk. “The red represents the blood which flows through the hearts of all living things. It is the ultimate symbol of love and passion.” The First Servant slowly wrapped the red piece of silk around their joined hands. “In the name of love and passion, I bind Thomas and Alexander to the pledges that they each have made.”

Thomas and Alex looked at each other and said, “Heart to thee. Soul to thee. Body to thee. For ever and always.”

The First Servant picked up the black piece of silk. “The black represents death. Not just physical death, but the transition of all things from what was to what is, and from what is to what will be” The First Servant slowly wrapped the black piece of silk around their joined hands. “In the name of death, I bind Thomas and Alexander to the pledges that they each have made.”

Thomas and Alex looked at each other and said, “Heart to thee. Soul to thee. Body to thee. For ever and always.”

The First Servant picked up the final piece of silk, which was multi-coloured. “The multiple colours represent the universe in all of its diversity. It teaches us to embrace all things, no matter how different they are. It reminds us that ours is truly a world of many colours and many flavours, and it is only with all of the colours and all of the flavours blending together, that our world becomes harmonious and we can find love and acceptance.” The First Servant slowly wrapped the multi-coloured piece of silk around their joined hands. “In the name of diversity and acceptance, I bind Thomas and Alexander to the pledges that they each have made.”

Thomas and Alex looked at each other and said, “Heart to thee. Soul to thee. Body to thee. For ever and always.”

“I have bound Thomas and Alexander to their pledges in accordance with the old ways. These bindings have not been tied, so that neither is restricted by the other, and the bonding of Thomas and Alexander is only enforced by both their wills. In the name of the Munroe family line, and in the name of the Llewellyn family line, and in the names of all of the gods and goddesses, I declare that they are bonded for all time. What I have bonded this day let no mortal creature tear asunder.”

Thomas and Alex kissed each other passionately. The First Servant, for having been raised in a very conservative family in the Rhondda, was remarkably open minded and felt honoured to have performed the Bonding Ritual for these two boys.

“Since these ceremonies are correctly accompanied by the eating of cake and the drinking of alcohol I have something in my bag.” The First Servant pulled out a coconut and jam sponge cake and a bottle of champagne. “It’s nothing fancy, but it’s the best I could come up with on short notice.”

“First Servant, you are very thoughtful, and I thank you for your generosity. Without your help, none of this would have been possible.”

While Joanne cut up the cake and opened the bottle of champagne, the First Servant began removing the silken binds, which symbolised Thomas and Alex’s commitment to each other, and handed them to them.

“It is tradition for you to keep these. I also have a small gift for you.” The First Servant handed them a small wooden box with a dragon on the lid. “It’s called a pledge box. The idea is that you will keep items in here that remind you of the pledge you have made today; starting with the silken binds. You can keep photographs, holiday souvenirs, presents, jewellery, or whatever in here; anything that reminds you of your love for each other and your commitments to each other.

“Since this ritual is dying out among our order, you two may well the last to be bonded with this ceremony. I wanted to wish you all the love and all the happiness in the world, and may your love for each other grow each day.”

The Bonding Ritual is based around the Celtic Handfasting ceremony. I have cherry-picked from various sources of the ceremony, left out certain aspects, and added something of my own. I know there will be readers who will be far more knowledgeable on the Handfasting than I am, and I hope nobody takes any offence at the ceremony I have included this chapter.
Copyright © 2012 Andy78; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

The ritual was beautiful, although I think the boys are too young to make a lifelong commitment. This could turn out problematic, I think.

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On 06/25/2012 07:33 PM, Dolores Esteban said:
The ritual was beautiful, although I think the boys are too young to make a lifelong commitment. This could turn out problematic, I think.
Thanks for reviewing Dolores.

 

Good point on them being on the young side to make such a commitment, we'll have to wait and see how that unfolds.

 

Glad you liked the ritual.

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Loved it. I had a handfasting and it was very different but the binding was really cool, brought back nice memories. I echo what Dolores said. They are very young, but then love is at its deepest and its hottest when we are young.

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On 07/31/2012 05:34 AM, Nephylim said:
Loved it. I had a handfasting and it was very different but the binding was really cool, brought back nice memories. I echo what Dolores said. They are very young, but then love is at its deepest and its hottest when we are young.
Thanks Nephy

 

I'm not sure what the future holds for Thomas and Alex since it quite literally hasn't been written yet :lol:

 

In spite of their young age, I'd like to think they'll make it, because I really don't like writing heartbreak. But as the old song goes: que sera, sera.

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A lovely ritual, but at the age of fifteen, perhaps a little young to be pledging to spend their lives together. But we'll see how it plays out.

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On 09/13/2012 06:03 AM, Taliesin69 said:
A lovely ritual, but at the age of fifteen, perhaps a little young to be pledging to spend their lives together. But we'll see how it plays out.
They say love knows no bounds, but we'll see what happens.
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