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Handfasting is an ancient Celtic ritual in which the hands are tied together to symbolise the binding together of two lives. This is where the expression ‘tie the knot’ comes from.

Handfasting is one of the oldest marriage customs in Ireland. Dating back to around 7000 BC during Brehon Law times, it was traditionally performed by a Druid. The couple, after the ceremony, lived together for a year and a day. At the end of this period, they decided if they wanted to marry. If they did not, the handfasting was absolved and they were free to part.

In today’s wedding ceremonies, coloured ribbons, strips of cord or a crois are tied around the couple’s joined hands, as a symbol of their unity and love for each other. Many couples have their cords/crois custom-made, to reflect and symbolise their dreams and wishes for their future.

Handfast colour meanings:

  • Red – Passion, strength and lust
  • Orange – Encouragement, attraction, kindness, plenty
  • Green – Finances, fertility, charity, prosperity, health
  • Yellow – Charm, confidence, joy
  • Blue – Tranquillity, patience, devotion, sincerity
  • Purple – Power, piety, sanctity, sentimentality
  • Black – Strength, wisdom, vision, success
  • White – Purity, concentration, meditation, peace
  • Gray – Neutrality, cancelling, balance
  • Pink – Unity, honour, truth, romance, happiness
  • Brown – Earth, grounding, talent, telepathy, home
  • Silver – Treasure, values, creativity, inspiration
  • Gold – Energy, wealth, intelligence, longevity

During the Handfasting enhancement, both your clients' hands are bound with the cords. Family members can be included in this part, coming forward to bind the couple's hands together, or you, the Reverend, can deliver beautiful words on their behalf. Then, as they stand face-to-face and bound by hand, they may speak words of love to each other.

There won’t be a dry eye!

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