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Re: hand fasting and banns

     The SCA is a wonderful game that we play on weekends.  It has no rules 
     concerning marriages.
     If you want to have a medieval-ish wedding within the SCA, you can 
     follow whatever medieval-ish marriage practices you want.  Unless 
     there is someone presiding at the marriage who has legal authority in 
     the real world to marry you (unless you are "married" in Pennsylvania 
     or another jurisdiction that allows for clergy-less and/or jp-less 
     marriages), do not expect that the law will recognize you as married, 
     with or without banns.  Handfasting is precisely as valid a form for 
     an SCA relationship sanction as any other.
     Melisande de Belvoir

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: hand fasting and banns
Author:  Matthew Allen Newsome <mnewsome@warren-wilson.edu> at INTERNET
Date:    2/1/96 1:21 AM

A question on SCA marriages.  It is a custom to announce banns of 
marriage three times before getting married.  This is correct.  But, what 
I am interested in knowing is, is this a neccesity?  What I am thinking 
of is the Medieval Scottish custom of hand fasting (practiced in Scotland 
from the ninth century to the Reformation).  This consisted of living 
together for a period of one year, at the end of which, if you still 
could stand each other, you were considered legally wed.  If you desired 
ceremony, you could have the next visiting priest say a few words, but 
this was not neccesary until around 1550.  All children born during that 
year (hopefully only one!) were legitimate, and for that year, regardless 
of the outcome, you were considered more or less married.  But this 
custom did not include banns.  Banns were not a legal neccesity in 
Scotland until the Reformation.  So for a SCA wedding a la Scotland, 
banns would be completely out of period.  I guess what this boils down to 
is, if you are having an SCA marriage, are banns a neccesity or will any 
period form of wedding do?