Customs and Traditions

Hand fasting

Has anyone incorporated, is incorporating, or has seen a hand fasting in a wedding service? My fiancé really wants to include it in ours but we can't find a good outline online.
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Re: Hand fasting

  • Why does your fiance want to incorporate a hand fasting?

    I see this as a cultural thing. I am doing a hand tying with a ribbon before we cut the cake. in my s/o's culture its a crucial part in the wedding ceremony . With out the hand tying its not a wedding.

    If you are doing a hand fasting because you think its cute, I would be offended.
    LondonLisa
  • What gypsy said. Unless you or your fiancé has some sort of tie to the ritual (pagan, Irish, etc), it would be inappropriate.
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  • He's Scottish, I'm Irish. It is important for us to bring together the two cultures. While we are both Christians we have both studied and possess an immense appreciation of and respect for the pagan rituals and practices of those who have come before us, particularly in my family.
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    katieg520Latham101114
  • Offbeat Bride has a lot of examples of handfasting. If you search their site, you can find more info.
  • We included a hand fasting at my first wedding (first husband is Irish and Pagan). We used wording similar to the sample ceremony here http://www.nonreligiousweddings.com/handfasting.html and it worked really well.
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  • Has anyone incorporated, is incorporating, or has seen a hand fasting in a wedding service? My fiancé really wants to include it in ours but we can't find a good outline online.

    Handfasting (and variations of it) have historical roots in many cultures.  You didn't mention if you were doing a one cord or a six cord ceremony.  We are doing a one cord and will be doing something similar to this: http://www.gmartinjd.com/id27.html  The site also has the wording for the 6 cord ceremony.
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    Toue
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited October 2013
    He's Scottish, I'm Irish. It is important for us to bring together the two cultures. While we are both Christians we have both studied and possess an immense appreciation of and respect for the pagan rituals and practices of those who have come before us, particularly in my family.
    You do know the Pagan religion now=/= historical Scottish Irish Celtic pagan belief systems. Handfasting isn't a historical ceremony, it is a modern interpretation of the phrase "handfasting" which just meant to get married- not a ceremony where the hands were literally tied together. It is fine if you would like to perform it at your ceremony, but it doesn't have its roots in Irish or Scottish heritage.

    It is a bit disingenuous to say that you are a Christian but you want to perform this ritual. Would you perform a Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh ritual in your Christian ceremony? Because handfasting is Neopagan ritual,  which is a different religion. It is a bit disrespectful to say you don't believe in their religion but want to perform a ritual from it because you think it is neat. 

    There are some other cultures that practice similar hand tying ceremonies, such as Roma/Traveller etc, but just since you mentioned Irish/Scottish heritage, it isn't a ceremony that was performed in the historical culture there (I have a PhD in the early religious history of Ireland/GB)
    blueobsidian
  • He's Scottish, I'm Irish. It is important for us to bring together the two cultures. While we are both Christians we have both studied and possess an immense appreciation of and respect for the pagan rituals and practices of those who have come before us, particularly in my family.
    You do know the Pagan religion now=/= historical Scottish Irish Celtic pagan belief systems. Handfasting isn't a historical ceremony, it is a modern interpretation of the phrase "handfasting" which just meant to get married- not a ceremony where the hands were literally tied together. It is fine if you would like to perform it at your ceremony, but it doesn't have its roots in Irish or Scottish heritage.

    It is a bit disingenuous to say that you are a Christian but you want to perform this ritual. Would you perform a Jewish, Muslim, or Sikh ritual in your Christian ceremony? Because handfasting is Neopagan ritual,  which is a different religion. It is a bit disrespectful to say you don't believe in their religion but want to perform a ritual from it because you think it is neat. 

    There are some other cultures that practice similar hand tying ceremonies, such as Roma/Traveller etc, but just since you mentioned Irish/Scottish heritage, it isn't a ceremony that was performed in the historical culture there (I have a PhD in the early religious history of Ireland/GB)
    Yay, a fellow PhD :-)

    Off-topic, but your post reminds me of when two of the cultural anthropologists in my department got into a debate about the modern use of the sand ceremony in weddings.
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    LondonLisa
  •  
     
    Yay, a fellow PhD :-)

    Off-topic, but your post reminds me of when two of the cultural anthropologists in my department got into a debate about the modern use of the sand ceremony in weddings.
    Do tell!!!!!!

    LondonLisa
  • mimiphin said:
     
     
    Yay, a fellow PhD :-)

    Off-topic, but your post reminds me of when two of the cultural anthropologists in my department got into a debate about the modern use of the sand ceremony in weddings.
    Do tell!!!!!!
    What you might expect--one believed it was a bastardization of (some) native peoples' culture which  was performed at weddings with no clue to its meaning/tradition, and just b/c they saw it on TV.  (I have no idea what show it was on, but it prompted the discussion). 
    The other didn't see a problem with it stating all U.S. (anglo) culture was an amalgam of bastardized traditions.

    ...Then something about Christmas...

    Not sure how it ended, I had to go teach a class. I'm also not sure which native peoples they were discussing.  It was a few years ago, but it was a heated debate.


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    LondonLisa
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    wabanzi said:
    mimiphin said:
     
     
    Yay, a fellow PhD :-)

    Off-topic, but your post reminds me of when two of the cultural anthropologists in my department got into a debate about the modern use of the sand ceremony in weddings.
    Do tell!!!!!!
    What you might expect--one believed it was a bastardization of (some) native peoples' culture which  was performed at weddings with no clue to its meaning/tradition, and just b/c they saw it on TV.  (I have no idea what show it was on, but it prompted the discussion). 
    The other didn't see a problem with it stating all U.S. (anglo) culture was an amalgam of bastardized traditions.

    ...Then something about Christmas...

    Not sure how it ended, I had to go teach a class. I'm also not sure which native peoples they were discussing.  It was a few years ago, but it was a heated debate.


    Wow- the anthropological side of it is really interesting- Thanks for sharing!!

    I'm a historian so I always appreciate seeing the concept of the "ritual" from other disciplines. I don't mind when people do hand fasting per se. It does make me confused when people say it is to celebrate their Irish (or "Celtic") heritage as it has absolutely nothing to do with those cultures. Similar to if someone said they wanted to eat pizza to celebrate their Chinese heritage haha.

    I do feel for cultures that handfasting has a very deeply spiritual meaning, such as Roma/ Traveller, Neopagan etc, when it is being co-opted into ceremonies where the couple just likes the ritual. It is like doing a Catholic Communion Service in a Hindu wedding because one thinks it is fun (especially without actually believing meaning behind it!). 
  • Wow- the anthropological side of it is really interesting- Thanks for sharing!!

    I'm a historian so I always appreciate seeing the concept of the "ritual" from other disciplines. I don't mind when people do hand fasting per se. It does make me confused when people say it is to celebrate their Irish (or "Celtic") heritage as it has absolutely nothing to do with those cultures. Similar to if someone said they wanted to eat pizza to celebrate their Chinese heritage haha.

    I do feel for cultures that handfasting has a very deeply spiritual meaning, such as Roma/ Traveller, Neopagan etc, when it is being co-opted into ceremonies where the couple just likes the ritual. It is like doing a Catholic Communion Service in a Hindu wedding because one thinks it is fun (especially without actually believing meaning behind it!). 
    I should have made it clear that I'm not an anthropologist, I a social psychologist, so I may not represent their perspective all that well even though we share similar social science theories/methods.

    I can understand why it may be offensive to incorporate a ritual b/c it is "cute" or "fun" without a deep understanding of the meaning and symbolism.  But I do think it can be done as a celebration of that culture-with understanding and respect (and that would be the sociologist in me speaking).

    I, myself am a heinz-57 without strong ethno-cultural ties outside of the U.S.  Our hand tying ceremony is being incorporate through FI's Canadian-Ukrainian side of the family-his father, not through his mother's Scottish side (to your point). Although again, we are doing it because it is a family tradition not as ethno-cultural one.  For example, the bride beads the cords, instead of using a rushnyk. Through this ritual, I will become a part of his family :-)

    If his family was from Newfoundland, I guess I would be kissing a cod on the lips --which I would happily do, but the cord ceremony is just fine with me (ha ha).
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  • wabanzi said:
    Wow- the anthropological side of it is really interesting- Thanks for sharing!!

    I'm a historian so I always appreciate seeing the concept of the "ritual" from other disciplines. I don't mind when people do hand fasting per se. It does make me confused when people say it is to celebrate their Irish (or "Celtic") heritage as it has absolutely nothing to do with those cultures. Similar to if someone said they wanted to eat pizza to celebrate their Chinese heritage haha.

    I do feel for cultures that handfasting has a very deeply spiritual meaning, such as Roma/ Traveller, Neopagan etc, when it is being co-opted into ceremonies where the couple just likes the ritual. It is like doing a Catholic Communion Service in a Hindu wedding because one thinks it is fun (especially without actually believing meaning behind it!). 
    I should have made it clear that I'm not an anthropologist, I a social psychologist, so I may not represent their perspective all that well even though we share similar social science theories/methods.

    I can understand why it may be offensive to incorporate a ritual b/c it is "cute" or "fun" without a deep understanding of the meaning and symbolism.  But I do think it can be done as a celebration of that culture-with understanding and respect (and that would be the sociologist in me speaking).

    I, myself am a heinz-57 without strong ethno-cultural ties outside of the U.S.  Our hand tying ceremony is being incorporate through FI's Canadian-Ukrainian side of the family-his father, not through his mother's Scottish side (to your point). Although again, we are doing it because it is a family tradition not as ethno-cultural one.  For example, the bride beads the cords, instead of using a rushnyk. Through this ritual, I will become a part of his family :-)

    If his family was from Newfoundland, I guess I would be kissing a cod on the lips --which I would happily do, but the cord ceremony is just fine with me (ha ha).

    Or having a shot of Screech!

    wabanzi
  • mimiphin said:
    wabanzi said:
    Wow- the anthropological side of it is really interesting- Thanks for sharing!!

    I'm a historian so I always appreciate seeing the concept of the "ritual" from other disciplines. I don't mind when people do hand fasting per se. It does make me confused when people say it is to celebrate their Irish (or "Celtic") heritage as it has absolutely nothing to do with those cultures. Similar to if someone said they wanted to eat pizza to celebrate their Chinese heritage haha.

    I do feel for cultures that handfasting has a very deeply spiritual meaning, such as Roma/ Traveller, Neopagan etc, when it is being co-opted into ceremonies where the couple just likes the ritual. It is like doing a Catholic Communion Service in a Hindu wedding because one thinks it is fun (especially without actually believing meaning behind it!). 
    I should have made it clear that I'm not an anthropologist, I a social psychologist, so I may not represent their perspective all that well even though we share similar social science theories/methods.

    I can understand why it may be offensive to incorporate a ritual b/c it is "cute" or "fun" without a deep understanding of the meaning and symbolism.  But I do think it can be done as a celebration of that culture-with understanding and respect (and that would be the sociologist in me speaking).

    I, myself am a heinz-57 without strong ethno-cultural ties outside of the U.S.  Our hand tying ceremony is being incorporate through FI's Canadian-Ukrainian side of the family-his father, not through his mother's Scottish side (to your point). Although again, we are doing it because it is a family tradition not as ethno-cultural one.  For example, the bride beads the cords, instead of using a rushnyk. Through this ritual, I will become a part of his family :-)

    If his family was from Newfoundland, I guess I would be kissing a cod on the lips --which I would happily do, but the cord ceremony is just fine with me (ha ha).

    Or having a shot of Screech!
    Ha ha-- I would rather kiss the fish!
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  • lovetulips04lovetulips04
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its
    member
    edited October 2013
    I've seen the hand fasting & they did it before vows & untied it after the vows right before the kiss!! I loved it bc it was different & I felt like I was totally part of their union by watching it.
    wabanziPrettyGirlLost
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