Most people are familiar with the phrase “tying the knot,” but a lot of people don’t understand where it originates from or what it means. The idea of tying the knot comes from an ancient ritual that involves a literal tying of the knot during a handfasting ceremony.
When a handfasting takes place, a couple will join their hands together and then have them tied to symbolize their union. This happens in conjunction with a vow recital, which we explain more in detail below.
Explanation of Handfasting Ceremony
Handfasting officiants are usually aware that those attending a ceremony might not know what’s going on. Before a handfasting takes place, they will often explain what a handfasting is and why the couple has chosen to conduct their wedding ceremony in this way. During the explanation, the handfasting officiant will typically talk about how it represents a couple bringing their lives together and becoming one.
Tying the Knot
Once the officiant has spoken about the importance of the handfasting that’s about to happen, he or she will begin the handfasting process. The couple at the center of the ceremony will join hands before they are tied together with rope. Some couples choose to cross their hands before bringing them together so that their right and left hands are holding one another. Others opt to stand next to each other and hold one hand. Either way, the handfasting will start once the couple has joined hands.
As a couple’s hands are being tied during a handfasting, the officiant will read the vows the couple has prepared. He or she may even read a separate vow as each individual cord is wrapped around their hands. Once the handfasting is complete, the officiant will usually make a closing statement and once again mention the importance of the handfasting.
Handfastings happen most often in the Wiccan or Pagan communities, but anyone who is getting married could benefit from having one done. If you would like to learn more about holding handfastings, Handfastings and Weddings can explain the process further to you and arrange to officiate your wedding. Call us at 610-532-9598 today for more information.