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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. 

Hand Fasting/ 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 these cords 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.
*First cord is draped across the Bride and grooms hands* 

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. 
*Second chord is draped across the couples hands* 

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. 
*Drape third chord across the couples hands* 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. 
*Drape fourth chord across the couples hands* 

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. 
*Drape sixth chord across the couples hands* 
 

Binding of all promises

*Tie chords together 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 chords are tied together they are removed and placed on altar*

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