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Handfasting Ceremony (Secular)

Handfasting is a beautiful element incorporated into a wedding ceremony where the couple’s hands are symbolically bound in marriage. The term “Tying the Knot” comes from the tradition of Handfasting.

An example of the word that is used in this Ceremony is:

"As this knot is tied, so are your lives now bound. Woven into these ribbons, into their very fibers, is all of the love of your family and friends. In the joining of hands and the fashion of a knot, so are your lives now bound. As a couple you are now entwined in love, bound by commitment, joy and sadness, suffering and victory, anger and reconciliation- all of which brings strength to this union. Remember it is not these ribbons but what they represent that will keep you together".

Cords or ribbons may be used. In traditional Celtic handfasting, the colors of the cords and ribbons that bind the couple's wrists all have special meaning. The Handfasting cords themselves can either be several colors twisted into one cord and then used for a single cord ceremony or each color can be draped individually as in the six cord handfasting. Couple may choose four to six colors that represent what they feel are the most important to them in their marriage. Here are some of the meanings attached to the colors:

  • Red - will, love, strength, fertility, courage, health, vigor, passion
  • Orange - encouragement, adaptability, stimulation, attraction, plenty, kindness.
  • Yellow - attraction, charm, confidence, balance, harmony
  • Green - fertility, luck, prosperity, nurturing, beauty, health, love
  • Dark Blue -for a safe journey, longevity & strength
  • Light Blue - tranquility, understanding, patience, health
  • Purple - healing, health, strength, power, progress
  • Black - strength, empowerment, wisdom/vision, success, pure love
  • White - spiritual purity, truth, peace, serenity and devotion
  • Gray - balance, neutrality, used in erasing, canceling, neutralizing, and return to the universe without repercussion
  • Pink - love, unity, honor, truth, romance, happiness
  • Brown - for healing , skills & talent, nurturing, home & hearth, the earth.
  • Silver - for creativity, inspiration & vision, and protection.
  • Gold - for unity, longevity, prosperity, strength.

You may purchase the ribbons and cords in many craft stores.  Your officiant may also furnish the ribbons for you for a small nominal fee. You can also make your own Handfasting cord.

 

 
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As Seen in The Knot Magazine
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