Adding the Handfasting Ritual to your Wedding Ceremony

What better way to tie the knot then to actually tie the knot? Despite it’s primeval origins, handfasting (or ribbon binding) is finding its way into more and more modern weddings. Handfasting is the oldest symbol of unity and the versatility of the ritual makes it easily adaptable to any ceremony.  

The ritual typically involves fastening the couple’s hands together with cording, ribbon, twine or a silk sash while a prayer (or poem – the “Blessings of the Hands” is a nice touch) is recited and vows are exchanged.

Blessing of the Hands by Rev. Daniel L. Harris

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.

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 tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

The number of cording varies based on the spirituality and faith of the couple, but a common number is three, representing the two individual lives into one. (Often why you see braided cords.) Some variations include securing a marriage knot into the cording at the end of the ceremony to symbolize the couple’s final pledge to blend their lives together.  

Another alternative is to have coloured ribbons as blessings (representing the values important to marriage) given to them by friends or family who symbolize those qualities. The blessings can be anything you think important to the health of your commitment. For example; adventure, kindness, honesty, passion, and forgiveness. 

Take a good look at your partner’s hands and see the gift that they are to you. 🙂


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