___ and ___ have chosen to symbolize their love and commitment using the ritual of handfasting. In ancient Celtic times hand fasting, which involves binding the bride and groom’s hands together, was one of the earlier forms of the wedding ceremony. Throughout history in many different ways and in many different parts of the world, the hands of the bride and groom were bound as a sign of their commitment to one another. The cords are not permanent but perishable as a reminder that all things of the material eventually return to the earth, unlike the bond and the connection that is love which is eternal.
The human soul shares characteristics with all things divine. It is this belief which assigns virtues to the cardinal directions; North, South, East and West. Let us offer a traditional blessing in support of this.
Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the North: firm foundation on which to build, fertility of the fields to enrich your lives, and a stable home to which you may always return.
Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the East: communication of the heart, mind, and body, fresh beginnings with the rising of each sun, and the knowledge of growth found in the sharing of silence.
Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the South: warmth of hearth and home, the heat of the heart's passion and the light created by both to lighten the darkest of times.
Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the West: the deep commitments of the lake, the swift excitement of the river, the refreshing cleansing of the rain and the all encompassing passion of the sea.
Celebrant: Please join your right hands