Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Handfasting Ceremony?

Hey guys I have a question! What are your thoughts on a Handfasting Ceremony? I am not pagan and neither is my fiance but when I look up information on it I hear a lot about it being a celtic/pagan tradition and that the ceremony could also refer to a trial marriage? I am just trying to find a wedding ceremony idea that would work for my fiance and I, we are more christian than anything but I am not a fan of the unity candle or the unity sand ideas at all. Do you guys have any sugguestions about other ceremonies or is this ceremony a good one?
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Re: Handfasting Ceremony?

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    I was also intrerested in learning more about it as well.  I really like the symbolism, and it's where the term "tying the knot" comes from!  I thought about doing a handfasting with the reading "Blessing of the Hands" but I'm not sure if that's possible.  Anyone know if there are any particular words that are said for a handfasting?  I would also appreciate any information!

    By the way OP, I"m pretty sure you can combine a handfasting with a more traditonal Christian ceremony.  You just have to work with your officiant.
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    Really? I will email her about it then because like you I really loved the "tying the knot" idea too :). Hopefully we will get some replies :P

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    I was handfasted, and am Pagan.  The original tradition was as a trial marriage, and also if a child came from this marriage, that made sure that if the husband died, that the heirs were considered as heirs.

    So, many non-Pagans who are celtic use the ceremony too, but truthfully, you should only use it if it means something to you--if you're celtic, etc.  No one will arrest you if you use it, but let's turn it around. As a Pagan, if I used something with a bible or Jesus reference in it, it just wouldn't have the same impact and meaning if I were a Christian.  KWIM? 

    DH and I used our Handfasting as our engagement ceremony, and then had a legal wedding a bit over a year later. 

    There is no "one" handfasting ceremony, as there is not just one official Christian marriage ceremony.   If you really are set on doing it, you can sort of mix and match the words if you like.   And be sure to check with your officiant first.  Many Christian churches don't allow it.  Further, there are many Christian ceremonies that have bastardized the ceremony and call it "the blessing of the hands" or "the hand ceremony" it's all from the original marriage ceremony which is handfasting, which is where we get the term "tie the knot." 

    PM me if you need more info. 

    happy to help!!!
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    Being Irish and Pagan (though Asatru/Norse Heathenry), FI and I will most likely be using it. But as PP said, try turning the tables. FI is Christian and wants to have something from the Bible in our ceremony. That's fine with me, but it means nothing for me, personally. I'm not going to have it "just because". And I don't expect to have the ceremony with only Pagan traditions, because it means nothing to him. If it has no meaning to you other than just liking the idea because it's cute/neat/different/etc., I wouldn't do it.
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    Ramiau3Ramiau3 member
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    I am Pagan also.  We will be having a handfasting.  It's is a lovely ceremony, so beautiful.  Have your MoH decorate your cord, it makes it more special.  Look up color meanings, don't think juse because you have wedding colors it should be used in your cord, the colors are very specific to the "elements" you want your marriage to represent.  There is no specific words to way it has to be done to make it "legit", but I do recomend researching to find what others have done.  There are certain things that should be done, like the way the knot should be tied and which hand is knoted.  Also, did you know that the sharing the cup used in many Christian weddings is actually a Pagan ceremony?  It represents the providing from one "well", sharing one life, supporting and providing for each other.  The words "may you never thirst" are often spoken, but again, research to find words that mean something to you and your fiance. 

    Pagans (tend to be, should be, since it's one of the cornerstones to the belief system) to be accepting of other's beliefs and traditions, don't fret about mixing in "God".  God is one God.  My FI is Christian and we are placing readings into our wedding that are important to him, and I love 1 Corinthians 13, so it will be read. The only word of advice I can additional offer about a handfasting is that Pagan is a catch all phrase for all that is Polytheism.  When you are looking up wording, be sure that the group or the "coven" is one that you find a connection with.  There are so many types of Paganism.. Cabot, Druidism, Wicca, Native American beliefs, Egyptian, Greek, Celt,  Eclectic, Buddists, Fay (really I could go on.),  Just be sure that it's in line with your personal beliefs and not going to offend your FI, yourself or any one else who is attending.

    It is true that orginally was used as a "trial" wedding, or year and a day ceremony.  If things "worked out", a child was concieved, that you were married.  If not, well, you had more or less an easy out.  Not very accepted in modern society, as you can imagine.  Many Pagans use the handfasting as an engagement ceremony and have a legal ceremony a year later.  We are having our during the actual wedding by a Pagan Cabot Minister, but that is the we are doing it, not because all Pagans have a handfasted legal wedding. 
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    I didnt want to do the candles or sand either. My fiance and I are doing the hand holding ceremony
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    I did a search for a Chrisitan handfasting ceremony because handfasting has  pagan/Christan roots.   (Like many other traditions when different groups converted to Christianity they took their rituals with them.  Like Christmas and Easter have Pagan roots.) 

    I am Christian but also part Irish and love the symbology of the handfasting.   Ecclesiastes 4:12 has a scripure that we are adding to our handasting.  
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