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Tying the knot...

Wedding rituals have been around for centuries. Tying the knot or 'hand fasting' is the predecessor to today's marriage ceremony.

Most cultures have unique heritage and rituals associated with getting married.

Many couples are now including a 'ritual' within their wedding. A meaningful ritual can add richness and originality to your marriage ceremony. Your family heritage may have a wedding tradition or perhaps as a couple you’ve created your own tradition during your courtship.

Handfasting is ancient and the predecessor to the modern wedding ceremony. It is a symbolic ceremony to honour a couple's desire for commitment to each other; to acknowledge that their lives and their fates are now bound together.

Handfasting is the origin of the slang phrase ‘to tie the knot’. The ancient Celts used the word to describe their traditional trial-marriage ceremony in which couples were literally bound together by a cord around their wrists.

The handfasting was a temporary agreement that expired after a year and a day. However it could be made permanent after that time if both spouse agreed. How many couples today could happily live with their hands tied to the other for a year and a day. Adds a whole new meaning to cooperation and commitment!

In today's marriage ceremony the symbolic binding of hands takes place just before the couple say their vows. The following poem makes a lovely segue linking them together.

THESE HANDS

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love that holds yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other all the days of your life.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours as you build your future together.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and care for you throughout the years.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief torments your mind, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you struggle, and support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children and help keep your family together as one.

These are the hands that will, countless times, wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

And lastly, these are the hands, that even when wrinkled with age, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch, a touch from these hands.

This is the first in a series of wedding ceremony rituals.

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