Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Unity Ritual...

A while back, when talking about our ceremony, B and I decided that we did want to incorporate some type of unity ritual into our ceremony. I have previously done the unity candle, as had he, so neither of us was particularly thrilled with that idea. So we started looking into other things that we could do.

We considered (or maybe just I considered) such things as a sand ceremony, which we liked, but didn’t love. I also considered doing something similar but with liquid and colored waters...but that seemed too messy. Especially around a bride as clumsy as I am! I had terrible visions of spilling red Kool-Aid on my dress...and that idea got nixed rather quickly.

And then Mrs. Cherry Pie got married on Weddingbee. She and her hubby incorporated a handfasting into their ceremony and it was exactly what I had been looking for. Seeing her pictures and reading over her ceremony, I was in awe and on a mission to find out more about handfasting. What I found was fascinating – how it all started, how it evolved, what misconceptions there are about the ritual and why it’s done. And I was sold – hook, line and sinker on this being our unity ritual.

In case you don’t read Weddingbee, or missed her post about it, here’s how hers went:

“Kat, take Justin’s hands palms up,so you may see the gift that they are to you:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love,that are holding yours on your wedding day,as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

Now Justin, please take Kat’s hands, palms up,so you may see the gift that they are to you:
These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young, and carefree,that are holding yours on your wedding day,as she promises to love you all the days of her life.

Now, please join hands so that they may be fasted in the ways of old.Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind…

[Cords are held aloft]
The love already shared by your heartsHas been strengthened by the vows you have takenYou will be bound by your love as you are bound by your clasped handsFrom now until the end of your days

[As the following is recited, the couples hands are wrapped with cords]
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as you build your future together
These are the hands that will hold you whenever illness, fear, or grief may find you.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children
These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours
[Binding is finished and cords are knotted]

Bless these hands that you see before you this day.May they always reach out with love, gentleness, and respect.May they build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.May they always be held by one another.If you follow these words and heed this sacred binding,your hands will heal, protect, shelter, and guide.Now, you may remove the cords,but remember the knot as a lasting symbol of your binding and commitment
[Cords are removed stowed]”

I got my notes all together and prepared the “pitch” to B...but, as was becoming normal at that time, he took the idea and ran with it with little more than a mention that I kinda wanted to do it. He liked it. He thinks that his grandmother will get a kick out of seeing something “Irish” in the wedding, and from then on it was settled. (Yes, I know that it’s not a traditional Irish ritual, it’s more Scottish or English, but work with me here...)

Once I got the ceremony versions from our officiant/friend/minister, I started to re-work his ceremony to include this ritual for us. That was what I thought would be the hard part to doing a handfasting, but it turned out to be the easy part. When I gave the ceremony revisions back to him to look over (while holding my breath that he wouldn’t flip!) he loved the ceremony additions and re-working that we had done and really dug the handfasting portion of the ceremony. But then again, he’s an old HAD to know that he would like it!

Every time that I look back on our ceremony, I just LOVE this part of it all. Love it, love it, love it. We borrowed the wording used in Mrs. Cherry Pie’s ritual, and I couldn’t be happier with it! Her entire ceremony was wonderful, and it heavily influenced our own ceremony - taking out what we didn’t like and adding in things that we did. But that one portion? We left exactly the way that it was. (Click on the source up above to see her post about her ceremony!)

Are you choosing to do a unity ritual in your ceremony? What type do you plan on doing?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! There are so many different ways that a unity ritual can be used to enhance a wedding ceremony -- they can be as individual as the bride herself. Of course, we're all about the unity sand ceremony because we sell the wedding sand :-) but love reading about other creative options. Sounds really lovely and meaningful!

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