7 – Handfasting – Hand Tying Ceremony
I’m sure you are familiar with the expression “tying the knot” or “giving one’s hand in marriage.” Have you ever wondered where those sayings came from? They are in reference to the old European custom of hand tying which was used before marriages where sanctioned in churches. In those days a couple would come together with their family and friends and have their hands joined by a cord, rope, ribbons, a scarf, tartan, or strips of fabric. It was meant to declare the couple’s union and commitment to each other (or perhaps just to keep the groom from running away!)
Today it has become a popular addition to a ceremony for modern couples seeking new and spiritual ways to honor their love. The tying usually takes place after the rings are exchanged. The officiant asks the bride and groom to hold each others hands and then ties their hands together with the binding of their choice. The binding remains in place until the end of the ceremony.