Handfasting

November 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm 4 comments

Alchaun and I have decided to do a handfasting ceremony instead of the more traditional vows.  For those of you unfamiliar, handfasting is the traditional European ceremony where the couple’s hands are tied together using cords.  It is likely to be where the phrase “to tie the knot” comes from.

While modern handfasting is commonly practiced with Pagans, it is also becoming a more popular ceremony in more traditional weddings, and the actual ceremony itself doesn’t necessarily have Pagan elements.  The reason we chose it was that it is a departure from the usual ceremony we’ve all heard a million times, and the vows seem to be more realisic.

For example, a 6 cord handfasting ceremony can read like this:

[Groom’s Name], Will you cause her pain?
I May
Is that your intent?
No

[Bride’s Name], Will you cause him pain?
I may
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. Join your hands
*First cord is draped across the bride and grooms hands*

[Bride’s Name], Will you share his laughter?
Yes

[Groom’s Name], Will you share her laughter?
Yes

*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.
*Second chord is draped across the couples hands*

[Bride’s Name], Will you burden him?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

[Groom’s Name], Will you burden her?
I may
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 third chord across the couples hands*

[Bride’s Name], will you share his dreams?
Yes

[Groom’s Name], will you share her dreams?
Yes

*To Both*
Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?
Yes

And so the binding is made.
*Drape fourth chord across the couples hands*

[Groom’s Name], will you cause her anger?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

[Bride’s Name], will you cause him anger?
I may
Is that your intent?
No

*To Both*
Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?
We Will

And so the binding is made.
*Drape fifth chord across the couples hands*

[Bride’s Name], Will you honor him?
I will

[Groom’s Name], Will you honor her?
I will

*To Both*
Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?
We shall never do so

And so the binding is made.
*Drape sixth chord across the couples hands*

*Tie chords together while saying:*
The knots of this binding are not formed by these chords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the chords, for as always, you hold in your own hands the making of breaking of this union.

*Once chords are tied together they are removed and placed on altar*

I like it.  Plus, it means i get to make cords!

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Entry filed under: Ceremony.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jon  |  November 25, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Sam and I had a handfasting ceremony for our wedding, it was great. Are you guys doing normal dress? Or dressing up in garb?

    Reply
    • 2. Ashley  |  November 26, 2009 at 12:00 am

      We are not doing garb – and we are doing pretty much everything else as a normal wedding. I just liked the wording from the ceremony 🙂

      Reply
  • 3. Nick  |  November 26, 2009 at 5:28 am

    That’s awesome, I’d expect nothing less!

    (wish I read more! that would’ve rocked)

    Reply
  • 4. GG (Mom)  |  November 30, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    TOTALLY AWESOME. I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO A WEDDING SUCH AS THIS BUT IT SOUNDS PERFECT FOR THE TWO OF YOU. SUCH A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO SAY THE THINGS THAT NEED TO BE SAID.

    Reply

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