Handfasting: To Bind Hands or Not? Absolutely, Yes!

I’ve never liked the image of tying hands together in handfasting ceremonies. I’ve always felt the free-willed offering of a hand clasp was much more representative of what marriage should be.

But I’ve been reading and thinking (Never say the Wedding Priestess can’t change!) and here are the reasons why I think you might bind your hands.

  1. Love really does grow tendrils that envelop and enfold us. Consider using a living vine, roots still in its pot, to wrap your hands.
  2. The ties that bind our hearts together are fragile and easily broken. Consider using gossamer or lace, a very fragile, yet strong when accumulated, substance to wrap your hands.
  3. Each wonderful memory makes another knot in the threads that hold our hearts together. And yet, too often, people seem willing to cut those threads. Bind your hearts with a strand of pearls (why not one for every guest, or one for every reason you consider your partner your heart’s desire?). A strand of pearls is glorious and beautiful and so easily broken. When the pearls fall, they can smash and chip. (Pearls would be especially beautiful as an image for a renewal of vows.)

Tip: It is not only that we are bound to one another in love but also that we must care for the bonds of love which bind our hearts. Love is very strong and very fragile. We must be tender with one another and mindful of how easy it is to let go or break free of love when it is frightening – or not exciting enough – or demanding. Part of the vows, if you use this ceremony, should be to nurture the bonds of love.

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