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Handfasting - Tying the knot

Handfasting is an ancient ritual to join two people as a couple. It has become  popular as a traditional element to add to ceremony. Vows are shared once the couple have been bound by the cords.

The gently tied hands clearly show how the couple are committed to joining their lives. As they choose to Handfast they step into a future where their two lives will be intricately woven together.

A long time ago, before clerics and Church got involved Handfasting was one of the only ways couples could get married, it was still legal as a form of marriage in Scotland until 1939. The ceremony derives its name from an Old Norse verb for a promise or contract sealed with a handshake, Handfesta. It is a step further on from the handshake that often binds a deal when it has been done. The ritual involves tying the bride and groom’s hands, or rather wrists, together in a binding contract. Handfasting is the origin of the term used when people get married, ‘tying the knot.’ Handfasting is a beautiful promise of love and a chosen path of unity, when two souls are ready to link.

Your Handfasting can be part of a Wedding, Vow Renewal, Civil Partnership, Elopement or Commitment Ceremony. It can simply be the lovely traditional tying of the hands or if you are so inclined we can add some more pagan elements, like casting a circle and jumping the besom(broom) as the first step into the new phase of your life together. The choice of what to include it yours. 

May your hands be forever clasped in friendship

And your hearts joined forever in love!

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