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Dr Kelsey Graham, Wedding Officiant Dr Kelsey Graham, Wedding Officiant

Handfastings Handfastings

Handfasting Ceremony I
 
Suggested hand fasting ceremony 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.
 
Hand fasting ceremony introduction
 
Officiant: 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
 
Who presents this couple to be married?
 
Sponsors (may be family, friends, or all): We do.
 
*Optional recognition of deceased family members here
 
*Optional recognition of those who could not travel here today
 
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.
*Optional candle lighting here (either Western unity or other candles) here
 
*Optional joining of current children to marriage here
 
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.
 
Groom and Bride , please join hands in the infinity circle.
 
Handfasting/ Vows
 
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 hand fasted 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.
 
Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?
 
Couple: Yes, We Seek to Enter.
 
Dedication (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 this cord to symbolize the binding, or promises.
 
The first promise (binding)
 
Groom, Will you be Bride’s faithful partner for life?
Yes
 
Bride, will you be Groom’s faithful partner for life?
Yes
 
*To Both*
Will you be each other’s constant friends and one true love?
 
Both answer: Yes
 
And so the binding is made.
*The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.*
 
The second promise (binding)
 
Bride, do you promise to love Groom without reservation?
Yes
 
Groom, do you promise to love Bride without reservation?
Yes
 
*To Both*
Will both of you stand by one another in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want?
Both answer: Yes
 
 
And so the binding is made.
*The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.*
 
The third promise (binding)
 
Bride, will you stand together with Groom your times of joy and sorrow?
I will
 
 
Groom, will you stand together with Bride your times of joy and sorrow?
I will
 
*To Both*
Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
Both answer: Yes, we will
 
And so the binding is made.
*The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.* Bride
 
 
The forth promise (binding)
 
Groom will you always to be open and honest with Bride, for as long as you both shall live?
Yes
 
Bride, will you always to be open and honest with Groom, for as long as you both shall live?
Yes
 
*To Both*
Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes for this marriage?
Yes
 
And so the binding is made.
*The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.*
 
The fifth promise (binding)
 
Bride, Will you honor this man?
I will
 
Groom, Will you honor this woman?
I will
 
*To Both*
Will you both seek to cherish and strengthen that honor?
We will
 
And so the binding is made.
*The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.*
 
 
Binding of all promises
 
*Remove cord while saying:*
 
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 chord is removed, it is placed on altar*
 
Blessing and Exchange of Rings
 
Who holds the rings?
 
Witnesses: We do
 
(the hold their hands up to display the rings and holds them up to be blessed )
 
Let us all 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, let us all bring our blessing to these rings so that they may remain symbols of unity and commitment. Grant that the love which Bride and Groom have for each other now may always be as unending as these rings.
 
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, let it ever be a symbol of my love.”
 
Optional second reading here.
 
Optional sharing of a cup of wine here.
 
Recognition Of Marriage
 
Only a couple can seal the promise of a marriage to each other, and only a couple can bind it. No power vested in me by the state can grant me the authority to declare what only these two hearts can declare, and what only these two souls can make real.
 
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 are now husband and wife.
 
I present to you Mrs. Bride and Mr. Groom Last Name
 
Officiant: 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, Officiant invites parents and grandparents to exit just in front of him.
 
Officiant: (said as he departs last) Thank you all very much!


-------------------------------------------------------

Handfasting with Cords (Celtic)
 

Lynn and Erik have chosen to incorporate the ancient Celtic ritual of Handfasting into their wedding ceremony today. Traditionally, in the British Isles it was performed by a priest or priestess, who would invoke the energies of the four natural elements to create a sacred circle in which the couple could be joined as embodiments of god and goddess. The cloth that binds their hands was usually the tartan plaid, representing the bride's clan or family group. One of the things we like about handfasting is that it is also a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will.

Lynn and Erik, 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, 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
and will cross the years and lives of each soul's growth.

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Yes.

INVOKING THE FOUR DIRECTIONS (optional)

In many cultures it is believed that the human soul
shares characteristics with all things divine.
It is this belief which assigned virtues to the four cardinal directions;
East, South, West and North.
It is according to this belief that we align ourselves with these elements.
Each of these blessings from the four cardinal directions emphasizes
those things which will help you build a happy and successful union.

[Guests are invited to stand and face the four directions]

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the East and the element of Air,
for openness and breath, communication of the heart,
and purity of the mind and body.
From the east you receive the gift of a new beginning
with the rising of each Sun, and the understanding
that each day is a new opportunity for growth.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the South and the element of fire,
for energy, passion, creativity and the warmth of a loving home.
From the fire within you generate light, which you will share
with one another in even the darkest of times.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the West, the element of water,
for your capacity to feel emotion.
In marriage you offer absolute trust to one another,
and vow to keep your hearts open in sorrow as well as joy.

Blessed be this union with the gifts of the North, the element of earth,
which provides sustenance, fertility and security.
The earth will feed and enrich you, and help you to build a stable home
to which you may always return.

[guests are seated]

Erik and Lynn, I bid you look into each others eyes.

Will you honor and respect one another,
and seek to never break that honor?

We will [the first cord is draped over the couples' hands]
And so the first binding is made.

Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?
We will [Second cord is draped over the hands]
And so the binding is made


Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?
We will [third cord is draped over the couples' hands]
And so the binding is made.

Will you share each other's laughter, and look for the brightness in life
and the positive in each other?
We will. [forth cord is draped over the couples' hands]
And so the binding is made.

[Tie cords together]

Lynn and Erik, 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 you love should be a constant source of light,
and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.

(from this point the ceremony can move on to traditional vows
and/or the traditional ring exchange)


---------------------------------------------

Handfasting (Lengthy)
 

Welcome! Good afternoon, family and friends
We have come here today to celebrate the wedding
of Bride [Lastname] and Groom [Lastname]

On behalf of Groom and Bride, thank you for joining us
They are delighted that you have come to share in their joy
During this special day
By your presence, you celebrate with them
The love they have discovered in each other
And you support their decision to commit themselves to a lifelong relationship

Marriage is a bond to be entered into only after considerable thought and reflection.
By making this commitment today, Bride and Groom’s relationship
will become stronger, better, and deeper
Today, Bride and Groom demonstrate their devotion to each other
By dedicating themselves to a life together
And they show their respect for each other
By setting forth to honor the vows they have created
Today, their lives, which began on separate paths, will be joined as one


II. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF FAMILY & FRIENDS

Today represents not only the joining of Bride and Groom
But also the joining of their families and friends

Bride and Groom would like to recognize their parents on this occasion,
They offer their profound gratitude
For all the love and care their parents showed in raising them.
Parents, the unconditional gifts of love and support
That you have continually offered
Have inspired them to become who they are today,
And they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts,
Without you, this day would not be possible.
 
They are blessed to share their wedding day with you, their family and friends,
And thank each of you for making the long journey here

As much as today it is a celebration of Bride and Groom’s marriage,
It is also a celebration of their love,
Which is built upon the last ?? years they have spent together
And all the experiences encompassed by that time

They have invited you to this beautiful place, to VENUE
And show you a glimpse of an important piece of their love,
To share with you these mountains, these forests, these lakes
Because during their years together,
They have come here many times, on days like today, together
So humbled and awed by the purity of their surroundings
That VENUE has become a shelter, a respite, and a temple to them

They wanted to show you the beauty of these fields and these rivers
Because this is where their hearts have made their home

They have invited you here because their love is connected to this place
Their time spent here has always been a time of peace, of connectedness,
And of a deepening respect for the divine, for nature, and for each other
 
They ask that you open your hearts and minds
To the timelessness of this place
And to the love we are here to share through this ceremony


III. REMEMBRANCES & ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Bride and Groom have also asked that we take a moment
To honor those loved ones who are not with us today

[Names of those acknowledged here]

And as we remember those who are not with us,
We also recognize those
Who are still denied the civil right of wedded union
And forbidden the social and legal benefits of marriage
We have come a long way toward treating all men and women as equals,
And yet, we acknowledge that we have farther still to go
And more we can do to respect the choice to love, and be loved

As you look out over the mountains,
Please take a moment of silence for those we have recognized.


[Moment of silence]


IV. MARRIAGE ADDRESS

Deep abiding affection,
the magical and compelling shared impulse
that makes us seek each others company,
is among the greatest gifts of the human experience.
Any of us who has been fortunate enough to find and express
the kind of loving devotion that we are celebrating here today
knows that it is an awesome and beautiful thing.

This understanding brings me to the first of three suggestion
I will offer to you, Bride & Groom;
be constantly grateful for the presence of this precious person
who has chosen to make a life with you.

My second suggestion is this:
Make each other the recipient of daily kindness.
The world can be a tough place
and any of us can be subject to rough handling.
Be generous with compliments.
Be attentive and helpful.
Each of you can, by your tenderness toward each other,
kind words and thoughtful actions,
make your marriage and your home an uplifting refuge.
 
Last, but perhaps most importantly,
make truth the unfailing bedrock of your lives together.
A happy, loving marriage is built on trust and respect.
That trust and respect can only be sustained
if you are both deeply committed to always being open and truthful
in every exchange no matter how small.

My hope for you is this;
that you have many long years to delight in each others company,
to feel gratitude for your great good fortune
in having found and loved each other,
to a make home together that is at once sheltering and welcoming,
to each do meaningful, productive work at home and in the world
and to love and be loved by the friends and family
who have come here today to support you…

V. GROUP DECLARATION OF SUPPORT

Now, I ask that these friends and family stand,
And that you turn and acknowledge them, as they acknowledge you

[Audience stands]

As family and friends,
You form a community of support
That surrounds Bride and Groom
Each of you, by your presence here today
Is being called upon
To uphold them in loving each other

Always stand beside them, never between them
Offer them your love and your support
Not your judgment
Encourage them when encouragement is needed
And listen to them when they ask for advice

In these ways, you can honor this marriage
Into which they have come to be joined today
Do you offer your love and support
To strengthen their marriage
And bless this family created by their union?

Please answer by saying : WE DO

[Guests: WE DO]

Thank you, you may be seated.

[Audience sits]

 

VI. MARRIAGE STATEMENT OF INTENT/CONSENT

Bride and Groom, do you, with family and friends as your witnesses,
Present yourselves willingly and of your own accord to be joined in marriage?
[Bride & Groom: WE DO]

Will you promise to care for each other in the joys and sorrows of life,
Come what may,
And to share the responsibility for growth and enrichment of your life together?

[Bride & Groom: WE WILL]

Then please turn to each other and share the vows you have written.

VII. VOWS

[Groom’s Vows:]

Bride, I have known you for many years and I have watched you grow
from the girl I first met and befriended into the woman that I love now.
In that time I have learned to love you
for who you have been, who you are and for the many possibilities that lie before us. Thank you for coming so far with me
and for always seeing in me the person that I strive to be,
even when I have stumbled along the way.
Thank you for your trust and support
and know that I will always trust and support you in return.

Thank you for always being my sanctuary, my comfort and my light when life is dark. Bridehryn, above all else, thank you for your courage in taking this chance,
beginning a new journey and coming here today to be my wife,
and in doing so, making a gift of yourself and your life
and for accepting the same from me in return.

Today I promise you that though the world may change
and though we may change with it,
I will always love you, always treasure you and will always share my life
and all that I am with you.

[Bride’s Vows:]

Groom, today I join my life with yours
To share with you in all that is to come:
All of the joy, and all of the pain;
Not just to grow old together
But to grow together, as we have over these last eight years

I vow, from this day forward
To give you in even greater measure
The gifts of my heart:
I will listen, when you need a friend, so that you will never be alone
I will support you, through laughter and tears, in the largest and smallest of your endeavors
I will do my share, with my hands and with my heart, to build a life for us that is happy and abundant
I will make your dreams as important as my own, in order that we may share one dream for a future together
I will respect you as I respect myself, for your successes and despite your failures
I will be truthful and never withholding, so you have no reason to doubt the sincerity of my vows
And I will love you, deeply and without constraint, through whatever life may bring

Wherever our path leads us, it leads us together
I am proud, from this day forward, to be called your wife

VIII. RING EXCHANGE

For thousands of years,
Lovers have exchanged rings as a token of their vows
Let these rings be a sign that love has a past, a present, and a future
Through you and within you


Groom, take Bride’s ring and place it on her finger and repeat after me:

I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you
To be my lover, my partner and my best friend, to the end of my days
Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you


Bride, take Groom’s ring and place it on his finger and repeat after me:

I give you this ring as a sign that I choose you
To be my lover, my partner and my best friend, to the end of my days
Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you


IX. SECULAR HANDFASTING

Bride, take Groom’s hands palms up,
so you may see the gift that they are to you:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love,
that are holding yours on your wedding day,
as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

Now Groom, please take Bride’s hands, palms up,
so you may see the gift that they are to you:

These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young, and carefree,
that are holding yours on your wedding day,
as she promises to love you all the days of her life.

Now, please join hands so that they may be fasted in the ways of old.
Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind…

[Cords are held aloft]

The love already shared by your hearts
Has been strengthened by the vows you have taken
You will be bound by your love as you are bound by your clasped hands
From now until the end of your days

[As the following is recited, the couples hands are wrapped with cords]

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 work alongside yours, as you build your future together

These are the hands that will hold you whenever illness, fear, or grief may find you.

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

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children

These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours

[Binding is finished and cords are knotted]

Bless these hands that you see before you this day.
May they always reach out with love, gentleness, and respect.
May they build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.
May they always be held by one another.
If you follow these words and heed this sacred binding,
your hands will heal, protect, shelter, and guide.
Now, you may remove the cords,
but remember the knot as a lasting symbol of your binding and commitment

[Cords are removed stowed]

X. PRONOUNCEMENT
Bride and Groom, we have heard your promise to share your lives in marriage.
We recognize and respect the vows you have made here this day
Before each one of us as a witness.

In the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done here today,
And in accordance with the laws of the state of Montana
It is my honor and delight to declare you henceforth
To be husband and wife
You may seal your vows with a kiss

[Bride & Groom kiss]

XI. BENEDICTION

Now, may the love that has brought you together
Continue to grow and enrich your lives
May you meet with courage the problems that arise to challenge you
And may your relationship always be one of love and trust.

May the happiness you share today be with you always
And may every word you have pledged here be a living truth in your lives.


---------------------------------------------------------------------

Handfasting ceremony - earth centered tradition
 

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.

DANTE, please hold CHRISTY’s hands, palms up, where you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.

These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when it is time to let go.

These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings after you’ve both had a long hard day.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick, or console you when you are grieving.

They are the hands that will love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child, that together you have created a new life.

These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.

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.
 

I bid you look into each other’s eyes and join your hands

DANTE, Will you cause her pain?

I May

Is that your intent?

No

CHRISTY, Will you cause him pain?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

*To Both*

Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?

Yes

And so the binding is made.

*First cord is draped across the Christy and Dantes hands*

CHRISTY, Will you share his laughter?

Yes

DANTE, Will you share her laughter?

Yes

*To Both*

Will both of you look for the brightness in life and the positive in each other?

Yes

And so the binding is made.

*Drape 2nd and 3rd cord across the couple’s hands.

CHRISTY, Will you burden him?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

DANTE, Will you burden her?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

*To Both*

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

Yes

And so the binding is made.

*Drape 4th and 5th cord across the couple’s hands*

CHRISTY, will you share his dreams?

Yes

DANTE, will you share her dreams?

Yes

*To Both*

Will you dream together to create new realities and hopes?

Yes

And so the binding is made.

*Drape 6th and 7th cord across the couple’s hands*.

DANTE, will you cause her anger?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

CHRISTY, will you cause him anger?

I may

Is that your intent?

No

*To Both*

Will you take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of this union?

Yes

And so the binding is made.

*Drape 8th and 9th cord across the couple’s hands*

CHRISTY, Will you honor him?

I will

DANTE, Will you honor her?

I will

*To Both*

Will you seek to never give cause to break that honor?

Yes

And so the binding is made.

*Drape 10th and 11th cord across the couple’s hands*

*Tie cords together while saying:*

The knots of this binding are not formed by these cords but instead by your vows. Either of you may drop the cords, for you hold in your own hands the strength and passion of this marriage.

DANTE, do you take these hands to have and to hold in sickness and in health for richer or poorer in good times and in bad?

DANTE: “ I do”.

Officiant: DANTE, please place the ring on CHRISTY’s finger.

********** CHRISTY **********

CHRISTY, please face DANTE, and hold his hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.

These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within you.

These are the hands that look so large and strong, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.

These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your new family

These are that hands that will 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 wracks your mind.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.

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.

CHRISTY, do you take these hands to have and to hold in sickness and in health for richer or poorer in good times and in bad?

CHRISTY: “I do”.

Officiant: CHRISTY, Please place the ring on Dante’s finger!

Officiant: God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring, and devoted in reaching for your perfection. May DANTE and CHRISTY see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide.
We ask this in your name, Amen.

Now that DANTE and CHRISTY have given themselves to each other by the promises they have exchanged before these witnesses, by the authority given to me by the State of Alabama I pronounce you to be husband and wife.

You may now kiss wife!

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Handfasting with Cords II 

Officiant:

We are gathered here today in the and the presence of friends and loved ones, to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the words which shall unite Jeremy and Alyssa in holy matrimony.

Giving of the Alyssa:

Who presents this Alyssa to be wed?

Father: ??Her mother and I?

Explanation of Hand fasting Tradition
 Alyss and Jeremy 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 a circle, symbolizing the entirety of their love. Jeremy and Alyssa, please join hands.

Handfasting/ Vows

 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 hand fasted 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.
 

Do you still seek to enter this ceremony?

Couple: Yes

Dedication (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 this cord to symbolize the binding, or promises.
 

The first promise (binding)

 Jeremy, Will you be Alyssa’s faithful partner for life?

Jeremy: Yes

Alyssa, will you be Jeremy’s faithful partner for life?

Alyssa: Yes

To Both

Will you be each others constant friends and one true love?

Both answer: Yes

 And so the binding is made. The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.

The second promise (binding)

 Alyssa, do you promise to love Jeremy without reservation?

Alyssa:

 Yes

Jeremy, do you promise to love Alyssa without reservation?

 Jeremy: Yes

 To Both

Will both of you stand by one another in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want?

 Both answer:

Yes

And so the binding is made. The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.

The third promise (binding)

 Alyssa, will you stand together with Jeremy in your times of joy and sorrow?

Alyssa: I will

 Jeremy, will you stand together with Alyssa in your times of joy and sorrow?

Jeremy: I will

To Both

Will you both share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

Both answer:

Yes, we will

 And so the binding is made. (The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.)

The forth promise (binding)

 Jeremy will you always to be open and honest with Alyssa, for as long as you both shall live?

Jeremy: Yes

Alyssa, will you always to be open and honest with Jeremy, for as long as you both shall live?

 Alyssa: Yes

 To Both

Will you dream together to create new hopes for this marriage?

Both: Yes

And so the binding is made. (The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.)

The fifth promise (binding)

Alyssa, Will you honor this man?

Alyssa: I will

 Jeremy, Will you honor this woman?

Jeremy: I will

To Both:

Will you both seek to cherish and strengthen that honor?

Both: We will

 And so the binding is made.

(The cord is wrapped around the couple's wrist.)

Binding of all promises Remove cord while saying:

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 chord is removed, it is placed on altar)

Blessing and Exchange of Rings

Who holds the rings?

Joe Bob: I do

These are the rings that Alyssa and Jeremy will wear for the rest of their lives, that express the love that they have for one another.

Jeremy, do you take Alyssa to be your wedded wife, to live together in holy matrimony, for as long as the two of you shall live?

Jeremy: I do

Please take Alyssa’s ring and as you place on her ring finger please repeat to her: With this ring I thee wed.

Alyssa do you take Jeremy to be your wedded husband, to live together in holy matrimony for as long as you two shall live?

Alyssa: I do ?

Please take Jeremy’s ring and as you place it on his ring finger please repeat: With this ring I thee wed.

Recognition Of Marriage

 Only a couple can seal the promise of a marriage to each other, and only a couple can bind it. No power vested in me by the state can grant me the authority to declare what only these two hearts can declare, and what only these two souls can make real. And so now, inasmuch as you, Jeremy, and you, Alyssa, 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 are now husband and wife.

You may kiss!!

And now it is my privilege present to you for the very first time Mrs. Alyssa and Mr. Jeremy Horton

Officiant: 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, groomsmen and bridesmaids recess as pairs, Officiant invites parents to exit just in front of him.

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

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Handfasting, friendly to guests and families with mixed religious traditions

Officiant:
Friends and family, we are gathered here to celebrate love in all its forms, but especially the love that makes a commitment between two people. This kind of love is not afraid to make promises. It is not afraid to work and not afraid to struggle. It seeks not only to be, but to continue. It is based not only on the pleasures of the present but on the hopes of the future. This is the kind of love that creates an anchor between two people. It also anchors a home and a family and, along with other such great loves, creates the bonds of a community. We celebrate and applaud the love and the promises of Sarah Bride and Groom Groom. May they always be a living hope for the future and for all of us.

Declaration of Support from beloved community:

Now, I ask that these friends and family stand,
And that you turn and acknowledge them, as they acknowledge you

[Guests stands]

As family and friends,
You form a community of support
That surrounds Bride and Groom
Each of you, by your presence here today
Is being called upon
To uphold them in loving each other

Always stand beside them, never between them
Offer them your love and your support
Not your judgment
Encourage them when encouragement is needed
And listen to them when they ask for advice

In these ways, you can honor this marriage
Into which they have come to be joined today

Do you offer your love and support
To strengthen their marriage
And bless this family created by their union?

Please answer by saying : WE DO

[Guests: WE DO]

Thank you, you may be seated.

Blessing of the Rings:
Officiant:
Who brings the rings?

Josh and Andrew pony up the rings to the minister

As the circle is an ancient symbol of the unending cycle of the seasons, as it is a line unbroken, so we give one another rings as a physical symbol of our vows, worn proudly for all to see. They are crafted beautifully from fine metals, as your love for the other has tempered and made you each more dear to the other. May these rings be blessed by the divine light of your love for one another, and the abiding love and regard of the beloved community assembled here today.

Minister presents the rings to the bridal couple:

Taking the hand of one who loves you is a symbol of acknowledgement and love. Your hands are also the part of you that you will use the most. Every day you look down with your hands as they do their job, and this is also why we wear a token of our wedding vows there. Every day, as you look down, you will see a brief flash of light, a sparkle as the ring placed on your finger today will shine.

It will remind, you, again and again, over and over, of your promise to your loved one. Every time you take hands, you will feel that wedding ring on your partner’s hand and you will both be reminded again in turn. It will always be with you, visible, worn openly and with pride. It will say to the world that someone loves me enough to make me a promise to share their life and walk down the same path as one.

Officient:

Now, please join hands so that they may be fasted in the ways of old. This is a tradition so deeply ingrained in our culture that we still refer to the act of getting married as “tying the knot.”

Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind…

[Cords are held aloft]

The love already shared by your hearts
Has been strengthened by the promises you have already made
And the vows you will exchange today.
You will be bound by your love as you are
bound by your clasped hands
From now until the end of your days

Best man and Man of Honor untie the handfasting cords from bride and groom and proceed to knot them together in six square knots. 

Your dearest friends will assist, as a symbol of the friendship and brotherhood they share with you and their respect for the bonds you have forged.

Right over left, here and evermore, you are bound with a knot for passion
Left over right, here and evermore, you are bound with a knot for loyalty
Right over left, here and evermore, you are bound with a knot for understanding
Left over right, here and evermore, you are bound with a knot for honor
Right over left, here and evermore, you are bound with a knot for stability
Left over right, lastly, here and evermore, you are bound with a knot for dedication

Groom says vows *held up on an index card by best man*

Bride says vows *held up on index card by man of honor*

Officiant:
Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter
for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be
warmth for the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there are three lives before you; His life, Her life and Your life together.

What we have witnessed here today, let no one put asunder.

I am pleased to pronounce, by the powers vested in me by the great state of Alabama, that you are husband and wife.

You may now seal these sweetest promises with a kiss.

It is my humble privilege to introduce for the first time, Bride and Groom LastName.