The Salt Covenant

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

Salta, Hale, NaCl (Sodium) is the many names salt is known by and have always been one of history’s valued commodity. It has influenced our relationships, economy, language, and religion throughout the ages up to this present day. As salt has stretched its influence across ancient civilizations from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and China to modern civilizations of the European and American trade routes, it has staked its importance in all aspects of our lives.

Medically, salt has been an essential part of medicine by acting as an antiseptic and respiratory agent. In Asia and Asia Minor, salt was used as a currency to trade and buy goods. Thus, the birth of the word “salary” and the common phrase “you are worth your salt” was coined. Throughout religion history, salt has always played a significant ritual role in sacrifices, covenant agreements, and fellowships. Salt did not have some magical properties that made the sacrifice special but simply acted as a meat preservative. Salting your meat allowed it to be sanitary and palatable. In fact, one of the biblical practices where salt was used is mentioned in Numbers 19:18 as the salt covenant. We learned that the Hebrew word for salt covenant is berith melach which means the agreement of salt. By partaking in this covenant, the participants are binding themselves to an everlasting agreement of friendship.

If I were to hashtag one of my favorite scriptures, it would be #salty. Matthew 5: 13 says “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” In this passage of scripture, the greatest motivational speaker is saying that everyone’s influence and life experiences add value to the relationships that they are invested in. As your mindful officiant, I encourage you to keep investing in your relationship by upholding your vows every day.

Adding the “salt covenant” to your wedding ceremony as a unity feature is a great way to express your devotion to your partner and budding marriage. You are agreeing to form a friendship with your significant other in utmost loyalty, trustworthiness, and love. This beautiful agreement deserves honesty and great respect as both participants step into a sacred space of peace, love, and unity.

Here is a short sample of a “salt ceremony “script.

The Officiant:

“As you are about to pour your salt grains into your family jar, you are now forever committed and joined together. The only way the covenant can be broken is by the couples retrieving their individual grains of salt. Since this is impossible, this covenant agreement of love is eternal.”

Officiant directs couple to blend their salt.

The Officiant:

“Each vial of salt represents your hope, pain, growth, dreams, and desires. You have not experienced your greatest gift, life lessons and growing pains in vain. For each experience has value in creating a better you. By blending your salt, you are now entering a covenant relationship which is enriched with knowledge, growth, and love. By blending your salt as one, it symbolizes your acceptance of this marriage and your vow to become one family.”

The Officiant:

As these grains of salt are forever joined together, may you all be forever joined as a family!

Photography by Edward Castro

Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. “Entry for ‘COVENANT OF SALT'”. “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia”. 1915

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