Remember, it is your ceremony and I am here to assist you in making the day memorable. Do not hesitate to include your own changes.

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Hand Fasting Ceremony for

GroomFull  & BrideFull

Place

Date

Opening Logistics

  • Background music
  • Music changes (this is the official start of the ceremony)
  • Grandparents are ushered in by groomsmen, best man, or Groom
  • Parents are ushered in by groomsmen, best man, or Groom
  • Music changes
  • Maid of honor and Bride  s maids enter individually
  • Ring barer,  and flower children, and bell ringer enter individually
  • Music changes to bridal march
  • Bride is escorted in
  • Music stops briefly then continues (low volume) throughout ceremony

This ceremony is very effective when with smaller number of guests they stand in a circle around the couple.  May be used as a substitute for the Declaration of Intent.  Hand-fasting is a wedding ritual in which the couples' hands are tied together with a ceremonial cloth or cord.  Hand-fasting is a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will.

Introduction

Elrod: Bride and Groom  , it is our joy to witness and celebrate your wedding in a rich celebration, sustained as we are in the mysterious power of all creation and whose core is Love. 

You come here today as individuals. You come to become one -- of course not to lose yourselves, but instead to promise a new life of unity and love.
And we, your family and friends, have gathered here to share in your joy and to ask the infinite power in creation to bless you. We hold that marriage is a gift, sealed by an achiest, lasting sacred covenant. 

Giving of the Bride & Groom

Who presents this couple to be married? 

Sponsors (may be family, friends, or all): We do. 

First Reading

Memories

Within my book of memories are special thoughts of you, and all the many nice things you often say and do. As I turn the pages and recall each single thought, I realize the happiness that knowing you has brought. There are memories of the times we’ve shared both bright and gloomy days. There are memories of your kindness and your friendly thoughtful ways. There are memories of your laughter and your bright and cheery smile, that add a bright note to each day and make life more worthwhile. There are memories of the things we planned, each friendly little chat, when we would get together and just talk of this and that. And when I recall these memories I go along life’s way, and find they grow more precious still with every passing day.

Explanation of Hand fasting Tradition

Bride  & Groom  have chosen a traditional hand fasting ceremony. In Europe, until the mid 1700’s, few unions were sanctified in a church or synagogue. Rather, they were celebrated by a simple hand fasting ceremony in which the two partners joined hands over the village anvil, in the fields or in the groves of trees. Today, we build upon this tradition. The couple linked hands, to form an infinity circle, symbolizing the entirety of the universe as represented in their relationship.

Groom  and Bride  , please join hands in the infinity circle. 

Handfasting/ Vows

Know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life you have formed ties between each other. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real, the ideals which give meaning to both this ceremony and the institution of marriage. 

With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be handfasted before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to God. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union; they will cross the years and lives of each soul's growth. 

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony? 

Couple: Yes, We Seek to Enter. 

Dedication (Blessing) of the Hands

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief racks your mind.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are the hands that will give you support and encourage you to chase your dreams. Together, everything you wish for can be realized.


Groom  , Will you cause her pain? 
I May (What was actually said was an emphatic yes) 
Is that your intent? 
No 

Bride  , 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  , Will you share his laughter? 
Yes 

Groom  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  , Will you burden him? 
I may 
Is that your intent? 
No 

Groom  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  , will you share his dreams? 
Yes 

Groom  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  will you cause her anger? 
I may 
Is that your intent? 
No 

Bride  , 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  , Will you honor him? 
I will 

Groom  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 or breaking of this union. 

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

Blessing and Exchange of Rings 

Who holds the rings?

Assignees: We do 

(the hold their hands up to display the rings and holds them up to be blessed )

Let us bless these rings! These rings are circles, symbols that remind us of the Sun, and the Earth, and the universe. Symbols of holiness, of perfection and peace ... that which has no beginning and no end. And so, in this moment, bring your blessing to these rings to also be symbols of unity, of joining and of commitment. Grant that the love which Bride and Groom  have for each other now may always be just this way. 

These are the rings that Bride  and Groom  will wear for the rest of their lives, that express the love that they have for one another. Let us take a moment and send our prayers, our thoughts and our love to these rings, so that as they wear them, they will carry our love with them as well. 

Exchange rings and state for each, “with this ring, I thee wed”

Recognition Of Marriage 

Only a couple can administer the sacrament of marriage to each other, and only a couple can sanctify it. Neither the church, nor any power vested in me by the state, can grant me the authority to declare what only two hearts can declare, and what only two souls can make real. 

And so now, inasmuch as you, Groom , and you, Bride  , have announced the truths that are already written in your hearts, and have witnessed the same in the presence of these, your family and friends, -- we observe joyfully that you have declared yourselves to be ... husband and wife. 

I present to you Mrs. Bride  and Mr. GroomFull

Elrod: Would everyone please stand as the couple departs! Please remain in your places until the parents have left the room.

Music begins, couple slowly walks out, flower girl and ring bearer depart, groomsmen and bridesmaids recess as pairs, Lance invites parents and grandparents to exit just in front of him.

Elrod: (said as she departs last) Thank you all very much!

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Hand-Fasting Ceremony # 2 (May be used as a substitute for the Declaration of Intent)

_____ and _____ have chosen to incorporate the ancient Celtic ritual of Hand-fasting into their wedding ceremony today. Hand-fasting is a wedding ritual in which the couples' hands are tied together with a ceremonial cloth or cord. Hand-fasting is a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will.

_____ and _____ know now before you go further, that since your lives have crossed in this life, you have formed eternal and sacred bonds. As you seek to enter this state of matrimony you should strive to make real the ideals that give meaning to this ceremony and to the institution of marriage. With full awareness, know that within this circle you are not only declaring your intent to be hand-fasted before your friends and family, but you speak that intent also to God. The promises made today and the ties that are bound here greatly strengthen your union and will cross the years and lives of each soul's growth.

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony? (Yes)

_____ and _____, I please look into each others eyes. (Hold hands – Bride’s left hand, Groom’s right hand)

Will you honor and respect one another, and seek to never break that honor? (We will)
The first cord is draped over the couples' hands.

Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it? (We will)
Second cord is draped over the hands.

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union? (We will) Third cord is draped over the couples' hands.

Will you share each other's laughter, and look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other? (We will)
Fourth cord is draped over the couples' hands. [Tie cords together]

_____ and _____, as your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust. The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but, rather by the vows you have made. For always you hold in your own hands the fate of this union. Above you are the stars and below you is the earth. Like the stars your love should be a constant source of light, and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.

God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May [Groom] and [Bride] see their hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide. We ask this in Your name, Jesus, Amen.

Or

May these hands be blessed that we see before us this day. May they always be held by one another. May they have the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. May they remain tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. May these hands continue building a relationship founded in love, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for perfection. May [Groom] and [Bride] see their
hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide.

[Untie cords]