Handfasting Ceremony 1

As this knot is tied, so are your lives now bound.

Woven into this cord, imbued into its very fibers, are all the hopes of your friends and family, and of yourselves, for your new life together.

With the fashioning of this knot do I 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 fashion of a knot, so are your lives now bound, one to another.

By this cord you are thus 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.

As your hands are bound by this cord, so is your partnership held by the symbol of this knot.

May it be granted that what is done before the gods be not undone by man.

Two entwined in love, bound by commitment and fear, sadness and joy, by hardship and victory, anger and reconcilliation, 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.

Handfasting Ceremony 2

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 your creative higher powers.

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?
Bride and Groom say, “Yes, We Seek to Enter.”

In times past it was believed that the human soul shared characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigned virtues to the cardinal directions; East, South, West and North. It is in this tradition that a blessing is offered in support of this ceremony.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East. Communication of the heart, mind, and body Fresh beginnings with the rising of each Sun. The knowledge of the growth found in the sharing of silences.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South. Warmth of hearth and home The heat of the heart’s passion The light created by both To lighten the darkest of times.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West. The deep commitments of the lake The swift excitement of the river The refreshing cleansing of the rain The all encompassing passion of the sea.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North Firm foundation on which to build Fertility of the fields to enrich your lives A stable home to which you may always return.

Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes those things which will help you build a happy and successful union. Yet they are only tools. Tools which you must use together in order to create what you seek in this union.

I bid you look into each others eyes.

Groom, Will you cause her pain?
Groom says, “I May.”

Is that your intent?
Groom says, “No.”

Bride, Will you cause him pain?
Bride says, “I may.”

Is that your intent?
Bride says, “No.”

Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?
Bride and Groom say, “Yes.”

First cord is draped across bride and groom’s hands
And so the first binding is made. Join your hands

Bride, Will you share his laughter?
Bride says, “Yes.”

Groom, Will you share her laughter?
Groom says, “Yes.”

Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?
Bride and Groom say, “Yes.”

Second cord is draped across bride and groom’s hands
And so the second binding is made.

Bride, Will you burden him?
Bride says, “I may.”

Is that you intent?
Bride says, “No.”

Groom, Will you burden her?
Groom says, “I May.”

Is that your intent?
Groom says, “No.”

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
Bride and Groom say, “Yes.”

Third cord is draped across bride and groom’s hands
And so the third binding is made.

Bride, will you share his dreams?
Bride says, “Yes.”

Groom, will you share her dreams?
Yes

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

Fourth cord is draped across bride and groom’s hands
And so the fourth binding is made.

Groom, will you cause her anger?
Groom says, “I May.”
Is that you intent?
No

Bride, will you cause him anger?
Bride says, “I may.”

Is that your intent?
Bride says, “No.”

*To Both*
Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?
Bride and Groom say, “We Will.”

Fifth chord is draped across bride and groom’s hands
And so the fifth binding is made.

Bride, Will you honor him?
Bride says, “I will.”

Groom, Will you honor her?
Groom says, “I will”

Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?
Bride and Groom say, “We shall never do so.”

Sixth cord is draped across bride and groom’s hands
And so the sixth binding is made.

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.

The cords are removed and placed on altar.

Handfasting Ceremony 3

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.

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?
Bride and Groom say, “We do.”

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.

Prepare the cords
Back in earlier years, the hands would be bound with whatever was available – vines, colorful cords, or scarf. Today we will use these cords to symbolize the binding, or promises.

The first promise
Groom, Will you be Bride’s faithful partner for life?
Groom says, “I will.”

Bride, will you be Groom’s faithful partner for life?
Bride says, “I will.”

Will you be each other’s constant friends and one true love?
Bride and Groom say, “We will.”

First cord is draped across Bride and Groom’s hands
And so the first binding is made.

The second promise
Bride, do you promise to love Groom without reservation?
Bride says, “I will.”

Groom, do you promise to love Bride without reservation?
Groom says, “I will.”

Will both of you stand by one another in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want?
Bride and Groom say, “We will.”

Second cord is draped across Bride and Groom’s hands
And so the second binding is made.

The third promise
Bride, will you stand together with Groom your times of joy and sorrow?
Bride says, “I will.”

Groom, will you stand together with Bride your times of joy and sorrow?
Groom says, “I will.”

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
Bride and Groom say, “We will.”

Third cord is draped across Bride and Groom’s hands
And so the third binding is made.

The forth promise
Groom will you always to be open and honest with Bride, for as long as you both shall live?
Groom says, “I will.”

Bride, will you always to be open and honest with Groom, for as long as you both shall live?
Bride says, “I will.”

Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes for this marriage?
Bride and Groom say, “We will.”

Fourth cord is draped across Bride and Groom’s hands
And so the forth binding is made.

The fifth promise
Bride, Will you honor this man?
Bride says, “I will.”

Groom, Will you honor this woman?
Groom says, “I will.”

Will you both seek to cherish and strengthen that honor?
Bride and Groom say, “We will.”

Sixth cord is draped across Bride and Groom’s hands
And so the fifth binding is made.

Binding of all promises
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.

The cords are removed and placed on altar

Hand-fasting Ceremony

[handfasting] A handfasting ceremony is an ancient marriage ritual. Today, a handfasting ceremony is a beautiful and unique way to represent your union and honor your heritage. The ritual takes place during the ceremony, before the rings are exchanged.