This one gets to me every time. The hand blessing ceremony can be incorporated into your ceremony any time from just before the vows are taken to the final words…
In it you should take it in turns to hold each other’s hands, palms up, and I would ask you to look into these hands of your best friend and soul mate, the hands that are taking yours today in strength and love and promise… the hands that will work with you and support you, wipe away your tears, take yours in times of joy, achievement, disappointment, sickness and grief. I would ask you to bless these hands and give them the strength and tenderness to hold on through whatever may lie ahead. I would ask you to see yours own and your partner’s hands as symbols of protection, shelter and guidance.
This is what I include in my material to be said at this time (it can take the place of a reading):
“Please face each other and take each other’s hands, so that you may see the gift they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily come to you. These are the hands that countless times will wipe away tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will join your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it, support and encouragement to pursue your dreams, and comfort through difficult times.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.”
My husband, the love of my life, died before this last promise could take place. But it would have, it would have. No wonder this brings me undone!