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Hand Fasting Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony for
Groom Full Name & Bride Full Name

Location

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.

Introduction

 

Paul: [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

 

Paul: 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.

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


Handfasting/ Vows

Paul: 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. 

Paul: 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. 


Paul: Do you still seek to enter this ceremony? 

Couple: Yes, We Seek to Enter. 


Dedication (Blessing) of the Hands

 

Paul:

 

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.



Paul: Groom , Will you cause her pain? 
[Groom]: I May
Paul: Is that your intent? 
[Groom]: No 

Paul: Bride , Will you cause him pain? 
[Bride]: I may 
Paul: Is that your intent? 
[Bride]: No 

Paul: *To Both* 
Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it? 
[Bride and Groom]: Yes 

Paul: And so the binding is made. Join your hands 
*First cord is draped across the bride and grooms hands* 

Paul: Bride , Will you share his laughter? 
[Bride]: Yes 

Paul: Groom Will you share her laughter? 
[Groom]: Yes 

Paul: *To Both* 
Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other? 
[Bride]: Yes 

Paul: And so the binding is made. 
*Second chord is draped across the couples hands* 

Paul: Bride , Will you burden him? 
[Bride]: I may 
Paul: Is that your intent? 
[Bride]: No 

Paul: Groom Will you burden her? 
[Groom]: I may 
Paul: Is that your intent? 
[Groom]: No 

Paul: *To Both* 
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union? 
[Bride and Groom]: Yes 

Paul: And so the binding is made. 
*Drape third chord across the couples hands* 

Paul: Bride , will you share his dreams? 
[Bride]: Yes 

Paul: Groom will you share her dreams? 
[Groom]: Yes 

Paul: *To Both* 
Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes? 
[Bride and Groom]: Yes 

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

Paul: Groom will you cause her anger? 
[Groom]: I may 
Paul: Is that your intent? 
[Groom]: No 

Paul: Bride , will you cause him anger? 
[Bride]: I may 
Paul: Is that your intent? 
[Bride]: No 

Paul: *To Both* 
Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union? 
[Bride and Groom]: We Will 

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

Paul: Bride , Will you honor him? 
[Bride]: I will 

Paul: Groom Will you honor her? 
[Groom]: I will 

Paul: *To Both* 
Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor? 
[Bride and Groom]: We shall never do so 

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

*Tie chords together while saying:* 
Paul: 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 

Paul: Who holds the rings?

Assignees: We do 

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

Paul: 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. 

Paul: 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 

Paul: 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. 

Paul: 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. 

Paul: I present to you Mrs. Bride and Mr. [Groom's Full Name]

 

Paul: 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, Paul invites parents and grandparents to exit just in front of him.

 

Paul: (said as he departs last) Thank you all very much!