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Hand Fasting Ceremony

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(An Ancient Celtic Tradition)

Version 1 

We will now do the ancient Celtic hand fastening ritual where 3 cords will be placed over their joined hands.

Guest 1 will now place the Burgundy cord to symbolize romance, partnership and happiness.

Guest 2 will now place the Ivory cord which stands for peace, sincerity and devotion.

Guest 3 will now place the gold cord which represents unity, prosperity and longevity.

Guest 4 will now tie the cords together to signify the tying of the knot.

As this knot is tied, so are your lives now bound together. Woven into this cord, into its very fibers, are all the hopes of thy friends and family, and of themselves, for a new life together.

With the fashioning of this knot you tie all the desires, dreams, love, and happiness wished here in this place to your lives for as long as love shall last.

In the joining of hands and the fashioning of a knot, so are your lives now bound, one to another.

By this cord you are thus now and forevermore bound to your vow. May this knot remain tied for as long as love shall last.

May this cord draw your hands together in love, never to be used in anger.

May the vows you have spoken never grow bitter in your mouths. As any child discovers when they are learning to tie their own shoes, the first move is to cross the ends.

The cross creates the (X), which is the symbol of partnership and union. As your hands are bound by this cord, so is your partnership held by the symbol of this knot.

Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconciliation, all of which brings strength to this union.

Hold tight to one another through both good times and bad, and watch as your strength grows.

I shall now remove the cords.

 

Version 2

Officiant: Know now that since your lives have crossed, you have formed ties between each other. The promises you make today and the ties that are bound here will cross the years and will greatly strengthen your union. With full awareness, know that you declare your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family. Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

 

Groom/Bride & Groom/Bride: Yes, we seek to enter.

 

I bid you look into each other’s eyes.

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], will you honor him/her?

 

I will.

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], will you honor him/her?

 

I will.

 

[To Both] Will you seek never to give cause to break that honor?

 

Yes.

 

And so the binding is made. Join your hands. (First chord is draped across the groom/bride and groom's/bride's hands.)

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], will you share his/her dreams?

 

I will .

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], will you share his/her dreams?

 

I will .

 

[To Both] Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?

 

Yes.

 

And so the binding is made. (Second chord is draped across the couple's hands.)

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], will you share his/her laughter?

 

I will .

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], will you share his/her laughter?

 

I will .

 

[To Both] Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?

 

Yes.

 

And so the binding is made. (Drape third chord across the couple's hands.)

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], might you ever burden him/her?

 

I might...

 

Is that your intent?

 

No.

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], might you ever burden him/her?

 

I might...

 

Is that your intent?

 

No.

 

[To Both] Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

 

Yes.

 

And so the binding is made. (Drape fourth chord across the couple's hands.)

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], might you ever cause him/her pain?

 

I might...

 

Is that your intent?

 

No.

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], might you ever cause him/her pain?

 

I might...

 

Is that your intent?

 

No.

 

[To Both] Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?

 

Yes.

 

And so the binding is made. (Drape fifth chord across the couple's hands.)

 

[Bride's/Groom's Name], might you ever cause him/her anger?

 

I might...

 

Is that your intent?

 

No.

 

[Groom's/Bride's Name], might you ever cause him/her anger?

 

I might...

 

Is that your intent?

 

No.

 

[To Both] Will you together take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?

 

Yes.

 

And so the binding is made. (Drape sixth chord across the couple's hands. Tie chords together while saying:)

 

The knots of this binding are not formed by these chords, but rather by your vows. For as always, you hold in your own hands the making or breaking of this union. (Once chords are tied together they are removed and placed on altar.)

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