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Hand Fasting

Hand Fasting

By In Uncategorized On May 27, 2014


Planning your wedding is such an exciting time and it’s only natural you want to personalise it. From venues to stationery, dresses to suits, vows to readings, all wedding are different and your wedding should reflect you. There are a number of symbols and gestures you may want to include such as a sand ceremony, unity candle, dove or butterfly release or YES a Handfasting ritual!   … where we get the term “tying the knot”.

For centuries many cultures have used the handfasting ritual to represent two people making a commitment to each other – supposedly the term originates with the Roman Empire when brides would wear a girdle tied in knots, the groom untied the knots prior to consummating their marriage and eventually this custom evolved to tying the couple’s hands together as part of the ceremony. Another, quite romantic version, believes illiterate sailors and soldiers would send a piece of rope to their sweethearts symbolising their love, affection and desire to be married, if the rope returned in a knot it meant yes!

A beautiful way to incorporate this into your ceremony is to have a family member from each side take part, as it then represents the families coming together to celebrate your union.
In a beautiful Marriage Ceremony I conducted for Anna and Steve on Freshwater Beach, the two mothers coming out from Scotland brought with them a ribbon of the Family Tartan. Anna’s mother placed on the wrist of Anna two ribbons. One was a white ribbon representing womanhood, peace and serenity for the marriage, whilst the second ribbon was the family Tartan representing Anna’s heritage.   Then Steve’s mother came forward and placed on his wrist  two ribbons. One was a gold ribbon representing manhood energy and longevity and prosperity for the marriage and the second was the family Tartan representing his heritage..
the two tartans
Simple words were spoken as each of the mothers placed the ribbons around the hands being a lifelong reminder of the commitment the couple were making to one another and the amazing support they had of their family and friends. The Matron of Honour then loosely tied the ribbons into a knot.
Whilst your hands remain unified as Anna and Steve’s were, you may wish to have someone read a passage such as “Blessing of the Hands” (author unknown), “The blessing of the Apaches” (unknown author), an excerpt from “The Art of Marriage” (William A. Petersen) or a piece of literature special to you both.

The “Asking” is also done whilst the hands are still tied and then the Matron of Honour without untying the ribbons removes them from your hands and places them in an organza pouch where they remain tied with the blessings of the families, whilst also symbolizing that like the ribbons your lives are tied together forevermore. You then move on to your vows and exchanging of rings
WOW! Is it any wonder I love my work as a Marriage Celebrant.

wedding steve kilt
Enjoy this time of planning and excitement
As stated by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway “hands are considered to be a connection to the heart, and a hand blessing symbolically brings two hearts together.”
Dianne


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