A handfasting ceremony is a beautiful way to symbolize the union of two lives. Handfasting is a term used to describe an ancient Celtic and Pagan tradition. It involves tying a couple’s hands together using a braided cord during their marriage ceremony. The act of handfasting symbolizes the couple’s union and commitment to each other. Many couples include this symbolic gesture in their traditional wedding ceremonies, civil unions, or vow renewals.
In recent times, handfasting has grown in popularity among couples from various backgrounds. Regardless of religious beliefs, many choose to include this ancient Celtic tradition in their wedding celebrations.
Each braided cord represents the life of each person in the union. These cords are wrapped around the couple’s wrists, symbolizing their unity and love. As the officiant wraps the cord, the couple speaks their chosen vows declaring their commitment to each other.
The following is a handfasting ceremony script example you may like to base your tailored script on.
Welcome, family members, close friends, and loved ones to the handfasting wedding ceremony of [partner a] and [partner b]. Gathered in this space, we are here to witness and celebrate the union of love between these two individuals. This ancient tradition is a beautiful way for modern couples to add a layer of symbolism to their wedding day. Today, we honor the sacred vow that binds these two hearts together by honoring the history of some European traditions.
The blessing of the hands
[Wedding officiant] takes the hands of [Partner a] and [partner b], placing their right hands together in the traditional hand position.
“[Partner a] and [partner b], as you join hands, you are holding the hands of your best friend. The person you have chosen to share the rest of your life with. These are the hands that will wipe tears of joy and tears of sorrow from your eyes countless times. As you exchange vows today, these cords will represent the symbol of your eternal bonds of marriage.”
The handfasting cord
The wedding celebrant presents the handfasting cord, a beautiful cord of ribbons, symbolizing how [partner a] and [partner b] will support each other throughout their married life.
[Wedding officiant] “With this cord, we honor the ancient Celtic ritual of handfasting. The binding of hands represents the eternal bonds that will hold you together as a married couple. This cord is a constant reminder of the bond you form today and the sacred vow you make to one another.”
The first binding
The wedding officiant binds the couple’s hands with the first cord, symbolizing the first stage of their union and the beginning of their journey as a married couple.
[Wedding officiant] “As this knot is tied, so are your lives bound. All the dreams of love and happiness you have both wished for are woven into this cord, infused into its very fibers. May this first binding serve as a firm foundation for your marriage, providing strength in times of struggle and a constant source of light during difficult times.”
The exchange of vows and rings
The couple now exchanges their own vows, further solidifying their commitment to each other.
[Wedding officiant] “[Partner a] and [partner b], with full awareness of the sacred circle you have created here today, and in the presence of your loved ones, please exchange your vows and rings as a symbol of your eternal love and commitment to one another.”
The second binding
After exchanging vows, the wedding officiant binds the couple’s hands with the second cord. Representing their declaration of intent to remain united in the bonds of holy matrimony.
[Wedding officiant] “As your hands are bound together, so are your hearts, minds, and souls. You are united in love, trust, and partnership through the knots of this binding. May the ties of this handfasting grow stronger with each new challenge and triumph. May your love be a beacon of hope and inspiration to all who know you.”
As the hand-fasting ceremony comes to an end, the wedding officiant offers a final blessing.
[Wedding officiant] “[Partner a] and [partner b], may your love be a constant reminder of the sacred vows you have taken today. As you embark on this journey together, may the sun shine upon your path. May the bonds of your marriage remain strong and unbreakable. I now pronounce you a married couple in the spirit of love and unity.”
Handfasting ceremonies offer a unique and meaningful way to celebrate the union of two lives. Handfasting provides a beautiful reminder of the eternal bonds and commitment that bind a couple together. As you plan your handfasting ceremony, remember to tailor the script to your preferences, cultural customs, and religious beliefs. The key is to create a ceremony that reflects your love and the journey you are about to embark upon together.
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