By now you will have your winter woollies out. The nights are starting to get a little colder now that we are approaching our winter months. The days however have been beautiful and warm and sunny. I think the Autumn and Winter months are great for weddings.
There are some lovely rituals that can be included in your ceremony and today I would like to talk about one that is most popular. To Hand Fast or to "Tie the Knot"
*HAND FASTING is an ancient Celtic wedding ritual in which the couples' hands are tied together with a ceremonial ribbon or cloth to symbolise the coming together & remaining tied together. As this knot is now tied, so are your lives now bound. Woven into this cord, into its very fibres are all the hopes of your family & friends & of yourselves for your new life together. Remember that it is not the physical cord, but what it represents that keeps you together. The couple saves the ribbon or cloth as a keepsake. Here are some words that can be said with hand fasting:
(Groom) and (Bride), 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 to you, give meaning this ceremony
and to the institution of marriage.
With full awareness, you are not only declaring your intent to be hand fasted 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 and will cross the years and lives of each soul's growth.
Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?.....”Yes we do”
(Groom) and (Bride), as your hands are bound together now, so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust.
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.
This ritual can be adapted to suit. I have done a Hand Fasting which incorporated up to seven ribbons of different colours, the meanings of each colour then being read out as each binding is made.Each ribbon was placed on the couples hands by the groomsmen & bridesmaid. The parents also can be involved by being asked to place the ribbons over the couples hands and then tie the lovers knot.
It is a lovely part of the ceremony. After the ritual is done the ribbons are placed in a drawstring bag and kept by the bride & groom. Their union will forever be as one just as the ribbons are tied together in one knot.
Glenda Davison CMC JP