There are several marriage blessings found in Native American culture. The Cherokee Wedding Prayer and the Apache Wedding Blessing are two of the most popular ones. Also included here on this page is the Indian Serenade.
The Cherokee Wedding Prayer asks for the spirits to bless your union and signifies a wonderful matrimonial pledge that you make to one another.
God in heaven above
please protect the ones we love.
We honour all you created
as we pledge our hearts and lives together.
We honour mother-earth
- and ask for our marriage to be abundant
and grow stronger through the seasons;
We honour fire
- and ask that our union be warm
and glowing with love in our hearts;
We honour wind
- and ask we sail though life
safe and calm as in our father's arms;
We honour water
- to clean and soothe our relationship
- that it may never thirsts for love;
With all the forces of the universe you created,
we pray for harmony and true happiness
as we forever grow young together
The Apache Wedding Prayer (also called the Indian Wedding Blessing) is a prayer commonly recited at weddings in North America. It holds no religious significance and is a popular choice for civil wedding ceremonies.
Here's an interesting bit of trivia: this verse has no connections with the Apache or any other Native American Indian group. It was, in fact, originally written for the 1950 Western movie Broken Arrow, starring James Stewart and Jeff Chandler.
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.
The original title of The Indian Serenade was "Song written for an Indian Air" which was written in 1822 by Percy Bysshe Shelley (August 4, 1792 – July 8, 1822). Mrs. Shelley republished this selection in 1894 in the book "Posthumous Poems" changing it to the current title.
I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sweet sleep of night,
When the winds are breathing low,
And the stars are shining bright:
I arise from dreams of thee,
And a spirit in my feet
Hath led me--who knows how?
To thy chamber window, Sweet!
The wandering airs they faint
On the dark, the silent stream--
The Champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale's complaint,
It dies upon her heart;--
As I must on thine,
Oh, beloved as thou art!
Oh lift me from the grass!
I die! I faint! I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast;--
Oh! press it to thine own again,
Where it will break at last.