The Handfasting Ceremony

Handfasting_using_a_braided_cord_2012

Last time I wrote about the Hand Blessing Ceremony. The Handfasting Ceremony is different again but can be included in a ceremony with the hand blessing words – if one does not detract from the other.

Many couples have asked for variations of hand fasting. You need either 6 ribbons or one wider one and a special pouch or box to keep the “fast”, or tied, ribbons in for eternity!

This ritual can be incorporated either before or after the exchange of rings and can include some interactive questions, although if that is not your style it doesn’t have to.

Here is an example:

Now you have exchanged rings as a symbol of the joining of your lives which have crossed in an eternal bond. You are about to cross hands as a further symbol of this bond.

As you enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make this ceremony reflect the ideals that are important to you.

With full awareness, and within this congregation of family and friends, you are declaring your intent to be joined. The promises made today will be woven as threads about you, to hold you together and support your union. These ties will stretch across the years and lives of your souls’ growth.

Do you seek to enter the ceremony of handfasting?

The Light Blue Ribbon : I ask you to face each other and lay right hand to right hand and left hand to left hand to form a cross. I ask you to look into each others’ eyes.

Will you share your burdens equally so that your spirits may grow in this union?

“ We will” – And so the binding is made.

The Silver Ribbon : Will you dream together that you may turn hopes into new realities?

“ We will” – And so the binding is made.

The Red Ribbon : Will you ignore jealousy and let the confidence in your love maintain its passion?

“ We will” – And so the binding is made.

The Green Ribbon : Will you share each other’s laughter and look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?

“ We will” – And so the binding is made.

The White Ribbon : Will you share yourselves openly and honestly so that distrust will never shatter your peace?

“We will” – And so the binding is made.

The Dark Blue Ribbon : Will you safeguard each other and support one another in the face of adversity?

“ We will” – And so the binding is made.

(The 6 ribbons are tied together in a single knot on top of the hands. The knot is twice tied so that it remains so when the hands are taken away).

As your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. Above you are the stars and below you is the earth. Like the stars, your love should be a constant source of light. Like the earth, your love should be a firm foundation from which to grow.

Please remove your hands from the ribbons.

The knot will now be placed in a pouch and will remain forever tied as a reminder of the lasting nature of your pledge to one another.

This is quite a dramatic ceremony in itself and can be simplified into a version where
one wide, luxurious ribbon is used and the questions and answers are just replaced by
a commentary from the celebrant.

It works really well either way.

By |May 29th, 2015|Categories: Rituals|0 Comments

About the Author:

Susan Artup is an experienced Civil Marriage Celebrant from the Blue Mountains and a foundation member of the Australian Marriage Celebrants incorporated, the largest professional network of celebrants in Australia.

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