Celtic handfasting technique

NikeSeptember 8, 2006

I am getting married in January and am very interested in having the Celtic handfasting ceremony performed. Does anyone know of a good website or book that will aid our officiant in performing the wrap? (Ex: How long should the wrap be? How are the hands tied? What is spoken and by who? When in the ceremony is this performed? When is it removed?)

Any bit of information is HIGHLY appreciated! :)

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sweet_pea10

I have had several brides and grooms do a version of handfasting. In each instance the wrap was different, both in length and in material. It needs to be light weight and long enough to either wrap around both of your wrists or to be layed over your wrists.

The wording that you use will vary depending on how "earthy" your ceremony will be. Some Christian couples include handfasting in their ceremonies in place of a unity candle as a symbol of being spiritually bound together in the Lord. Others use wording that calls on the spirits of the North, South, East, and West to bless the marriage. As you can see, you can do the ceremony in numerous ways.

The handfasting usually occurs after the exchange of vows and rings. Most often the officiant removes the wrap after saying what they are going to say.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 11:18PM
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Nike

Thank you for all of that useful information. It definitely helps. I'm still needing to purchase a book or find more information on the internet. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Every bit of knowledge helps.

Have a good weekend!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 11:33PM
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copioussilverbirch

My husband and I just got Handfasted in May of last year. We opted to use the "Self Unite" when we went to the court house for our lincense. All you need is a couple witnesses to sign. We found an HP to perform over the ceremony. With the Self-unite marriage, you could have anybody preside over your ceremony. You do not need a minister or a JP. Some states do not offer this option but I know that in PA it is available because of the Amish and Quakers.

I have looked online for hours searching for stuff for handfastings. I found a dress that I fell in love with from Maggie Sottaro, and it was no longer available. So I had someone from the Ren Faire make the dress for me. It was not perfect, but it was nice. I chose the fabric and color. I only paid 300 for the dress.

As for the ceremony. We had a full blown ritual consisting of quarter callers and cross quarter callers. If you do this I suggest using only Quarter Callers. One of our cross Quarters backed out at the last minute but we did find a replacement.

We had the ceremony at a park and it did not cost too much to rent out the pavilions. Family members made food and found acssesories for the tables. Always remeber if you have an outdoor ceremony to have a backup plan for if it rains. IT did rain during our ceremony and it was quite frustrating. NOte: there was only a 20% chance of rain in the late evening and we had our ceremony at Noon. Well there was rain, thunder, lightening, and Hail. Perhaps we said "Hale and Welcome" too many times. It even Hailed during the reception. We had an audio woman for the HPS and the crew but it had to be turned off because of the rain. We got our cake at a local Grocery store. We used a couple sheet cakes and made them picture cakes.

We used in our ceremony the following:

Appreciation of Mothers (Everyone liked this one: where you express your appreciation to your mother-in-law to be, and he to your mother)
Wreath ceremony (which turned out to be a wash out because of some last minute decisions based on the rain.) yet the premise of everyone offering something to the wreath was still used.
Blessing of the Rings
Blessing of the Hands
Handfasting/Binding
Elemental Blessing (This was my favorite
Native American Blessing ("Now you will feel no rain.."
Rose Ceremony
Jumping over broom and Fire.

Ceremonies are often performed in May because of Beltane.
We whoopsied with the tying of the knot but it was quite interesting... We had to find a way to place the roses into our hands while they were tied together, as well as jump the fire and broom, and off course lifting the dress. It was surely interesting. Our cords were 2 yards long and we had 3 of them; different colors representing different attributes.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask. I suggest that you at the least page through a couple Handfasting books to become familar with the different variations of Rites. You can also go to your local Barnes and Noble and check out the "New age" section.
I Suggest to Google Handfasting or Handfasting ceremonies.

Sorry I wrote a book
Have a good Day
Peace, Love and Light,
~Sarah~

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 1:29PM
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