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Catholic Weddings

Hand Blessing at Catholic Ceremony?

Does anyone know if the "Hand Blessing" ceremony is allowed in a Catholic ceremony? Our church is pretty lenient-- we can have any music we want as long as it isn't satanic or anything, they allow unity candles, priest doesn't care that we live together.

I've never been interested in the unity candle, but I would love to do this hand blessing during the time that we would do a devotion to the Blessed Mother. Has anyone seen that at a Catholic ceremony (non Mass, if that matters)?

If your not familar, the words go something like this:

Officiant: [Bride], please hold [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 and cherish you through the years for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will love you passionately, and, with the slightest touch, comfort you like no other.
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 hold you when fear or grief engulfs your heart.
These are the hands that will give you strength and support when you can't do it alone.
These are the hands that, when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
 

Officiant: [Groom], please hold [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 and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will love you passionately, and, with the slightest touch, comfort you like no other.
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 hold you when fear or grief engulfs your heart. 
These are the hands that will give you strength and support when you can't do it alone.  
These are the hands that, when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Re: Hand Blessing at Catholic Ceremony?

  • edited December 2011
    Love it! It was read recently at a wedding I went to and it was not a Church wedding but the couple is Catholic, and it was really sweet to incoporate. The bride's mother read it and it was absolutely beautiful. I think it is perfectly acceptable for a Church ceremony. Run it by your preist and see what he thinks.
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  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
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    edited December 2011
    If this is "handfasting" it is a pagan ritual that was adapted in ireland. One shouldn't add or subtract anything from the liturgy.

    I don't understand why you want to replace a devotion to Mary with this.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    while it sounds nice, there isnt much religious meaning behind it so i cant imagine it being allowed.  btu then again, some churches allow the unity candle and that is not religious either.

    it seems that in all of hte places where "hands" are mentioned, it should be be more of a reference to God.  for example, "These are the hands that will give you strength and support when you can't do it alone."  isnt God what should give you strength and support when you cant do it alone?

    it definteily soudns liek a very secular ritual.  i think it woudl be nice for a ceremony where the couple wants some "meat" so that they have a ceremony longer than 10 minutes, when tehy cant fill it with things like prayer or readings because they arent religious.  where you are going to to be having a religious ceremony, this seems unnecesary.

    your priest may say some things are ok or that he doestn care, but that doesnt always mean its right. 
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  • edited December 2011
    I would stick with the Devotion to Mary, this is beautiful, but it does take quite a while to read everything and it's more of a personal experience, rather than something that you would do during the ceremony.
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  • edited December 2011
    I kind of figured it wouldn't go with the Catholic ceremony, but I didn't realize this is the Pagan hand fasting thing. I was hoping it was like the unity candle-- not really Catholic but common enough that many priests don't mind.

    Thanks-- I figured the ladies on here would know. You respond much faster than our priest :)
  • clearheavensclearheavens member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    There are many wedding traditions that have pagan roots, such as the something blue, something old, something new tradition, or the unity candle tradition, not seeing the bride before the ceremony, etc.  The issue here, I think, isn't that it's got pagan roots.  The issue is that you are adding or subtracting something from the Liturgy.  That should be avoided.
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  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    We did the Hand Blessing during EE.  It was nice.  But it had nothing to do with the Sacrament of Marriage. 

    I've heard that some priests will allow extra readings or personalized vows during the church ceremony, but I've personally never seen it.  I guess you could ask.  But... the ceremony is complete, how much do you think the Hand Blessing adds to your wedding experience?  And it's in a church.  Do you really want to bring in a pagan element to your church wedding?
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_hand-blessing-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:123d99da-8473-4f4d-803c-7fabd974a755Post:8454d54a-3ab0-4eac-862a-3ffb63ded3ba">Re: Hand Blessing at Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]There are many wedding traditions that have pagan roots, such as the something blue, something old, something new tradition, or the unity candle tradition, not seeing the bride before the ceremony, etc.  The issue here, I think, isn't that it's got pagan roots.  The issue is that you are adding or subtracting something from the Liturgy .  That should be avoided.
    Posted by clearheavens[/QUOTE]

    I believe the unity candle was invented on a soap opera, not necessarily a pagan ritual.... I could be wrong.

    It is definitely an issue if there is pagan meaning behind it.
  • mica178mica178 member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_hand-blessing-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:123d99da-8473-4f4d-803c-7fabd974a755Post:5ed1deee-43a6-48ae-90f7-0ac66ee603de">Re: Hand Blessing at Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Hand Blessing at Catholic Ceremony? : I believe the unity candle was invented on a soap opera, not necessarily a pagan ritual.... I could be wrong. It is definitely an issue if there is pagan meaning behind it.
    Posted by agapecarrie[/QUOTE]

    I think the unity candle became popular after it was part of a wedding on a soap opera, but use of unity candles existed before said General Hospital episode.  I think originally it was more popular in interfaith weddings but that 1981 General Hospital exploded its popularity.  My quick Google search says the unity candle started making its way into wedding ceremonies about 40 years ago, so I wouldn't call its origins pagan, just not especially Christian.
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    "secular" i think is a better word choice than "pagan".
  • edited December 2011
    Actually, I think we are talking about two different things.

    "Handfasting" is a ritual that is celtic or pagan in origin.

    The hand blessing ceremony I'm asking about is more "secular" as Calypso points out. So, to me it seems like it is more along the lines or a unity candle or sand ceremony.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Secular can be morally neutral. Pagan is considered morally wrong--- as in polytheistic. When I use the word pagan, I actually mean from that mind set-- the worship of the earth, solstice, etc.

    The "something borrowed" thing I never knew it to be pagan. I'm not saying it isn't, but from what I know, that would be considered secular.

    Handfasting is pagan.
  • clearheavensclearheavens member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_hand-blessing-catholic-ceremony?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:123d99da-8473-4f4d-803c-7fabd974a755Post:c3e101c5-985e-4603-b85c-258b6c2855fa">Re: Hand Blessing at Catholic Ceremony?</a>:
    [QUOTE]"secular" i think is a better word choice than "pagan".
    Posted by Calypso1977[/QUOTE]

    <div>Yeah, that's what I mean.  Thanks, Calypso!  Pagan would be morally wrong because it worships anything but God.</div><div>
    </div><div>To the OP, I still am very hesitant about the hand blessing though as sweet and lovely as it sounds, because it is adding to the Liturgy something that does not glorify God.  The point of Mass is to worship and unify all towards God.  Maybe the hand blessing has another place but it is not the Liturgy.</div>
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  • edited December 2011
    My sister in law had the hands prayer at her catholic wedding in archdiocese of baltimore and I'm going to have it in the archdiocese of philadelphia but it may depend upon the priest too.  I think you could add to the hands prayer to improve it so it mentioned reliance of both bride and groom on God as the 3rd person in relationship or something like that and it could work. 
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