Hand Fasting Ceremony

Example of Hand Fasting Ceremony

by Lisa Hunt-Wotton

Today we will be performing a hand fasting ceremony.

For those of you who don’t know, hand fasting is a Celtic marriage rite that began in the Middle Ages.  At that time when people got married they were usually unable to afford a  GOLD ring to signify their love or a clergyman to hear their vows or, so they began the ritual of hand fasting.

David and Sarah:  This is where I ask you to turn and face each other and hold hands.

(bridesmaid takes the bouquet off the bride)

This ceremony was usually done outdoors in a field, garden or town square so it’s very appropriate that we are standing here now in this beautiful forest.

IMG_0592

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The modern expressions, “tying the knot,” and “hand in marriage” all come from this ancient tradition of wrapping the wrists with braided cords, grasses or vines.

Today David and Sarah have thoughtfully chosen golden cords to represent values that mean the most to them as a couple.

(Or you can use a cloth, strip of the wedding gown or piece of fabric that holds some meaning.  It may be embroidered or painted).  

David and Sarah clasp hands together.

This is just an example but  you add your personal version of what you would like to say.

Lisa:  David and Sarah are you willing now and always to make this commitment  of LOVE to each other?

David and Sarah:  We are.

I drape the first cord over their united hands.

Lisa:  Will you stand side by side and support each other for the rest of your days together?

David and Sarah:  We will.

I drape the second cord over their united hands.

Lisa:  Will you bring fun, laughter, joy and happiness to your relationship?

David and Sarah:  We will.

I drape the third cord over their united hands.

Lisa:  Are you committed to a relationship of honesty and integrity?

David and Sarah:  We are.

I drape the fourth cord over their united hands.

Lisa:  “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves and multiple cords cannot be easily broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12

I knot the cords together under their hands.

And now as your hands are bound together, I ask you to declare your vows to each other.

 

handfasting

Vows

It is in this spirit of love and commitment, that David and Sarah stand before us now.  Two unique individuals bound together with vows of love and devotion.

David would you please repeat after me: 

(Bits in black Bold we have to have legally)

I call upon the persons gathered here to witness 

That I David, take thee Sarah, 

To be my lawful wedded wife.

Personal Vows:  

This is just an example but  you add your personal version of what you would like to say.

Sarah I take you to be my wife, to join with you and to share all that is to come, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to love and respect you, and in all our life together to be loyal to you with all my being.

I love you with all of my heart and am so grateful that you will be my life partner.

Sarah

This is just an example but  you add your personal version of what you would like to say.

David I take you to be my husband, to join with you and to share all that this life holds, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to love and respect you; and in all our life together to be loyal to you with all my being.

David I love you will all of my heart.  I feel safe with you and feel so blessed to have you in my life. 

So with these promises held in my heart 

I too call upon the persons gathered here to witness 

That I, Sarah, 

Take thee David 

To be my lawful wedded husband.

(Bits in black Bold we have to have legally)

Take the Hand Fasting off their wrists

Rings 

Rings on a ring holder
Wedding rings on a ring holder made of wood slices

May I please have the rings 

  • Jeremy Taylor wrote that the marriage ring signifies both the union of the hands and hearts. 

The celebrant holds the rings in her hand up high before the guests so that they can see the rings.  

From the earliest of days, rings have been given as a symbol of everlasting and eternal love an embrace with no beginning, no end.

You can now exchange these rings.

David repeat after me.

David:  Sarah, I give you this ring as a symbol of my eternal love for you.

Sarah repeat after me:

Sarah:  David, I give you this ring as a symbol of the peace and eternal love that we share.

  • *Put the rings on each others ring fingers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s