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What are the words for the Celtic handfasting ceremony?

Celtic handfasting is an ancient tradition which involves tying a knot as a symbol of the union of two people. This beautiful ceremony has its roots in Scotland and Ireland, and it is still practiced today by many couples who want to honor their Celtic heritage or embrace the symbolism of this ancient ritual. One of the most intriguing aspects of the handfasting ceremony is the words that are spoken during it. In this blog post, we will explore the meaning and history of the words used in a Celtic handfasting ceremony.

The Origin of Handfasting in Celtic Culture

Handfasting is an ancient Celtic tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. In those days, a handfasting ceremony was an official betrothal agreement between two people who intended to marry. The couple would declare their intention to marry in front of witnesses, and then their hands would be tied together with a cord or ribbon. The cord would remain tied for a year and a day, after which the couple could decide to either formalize their union or go their separate ways.

The handfasting ceremony was a binding commitment between two people, and it was taken very seriously. In fact, many historians believe that the word “handfasting” may be related to the phrase “till death do us part,” which was a common vow in Christian marriage ceremonies. The main difference, however, was that a handfasting agreement could be dissolved without any legal repercussions, unlike a formal marriage.

The Words of the Celtic Handfasting Ceremony

The words spoken during a Celtic handfasting ceremony are steeped in symbolism and meaning. They are designed to reflect the couple’s commitment to each other, as well as their understanding of the sacred nature of the ceremony.

One of the most well-known phrases used in a handfasting ceremony is “May this knot remain tied for as long as love shall last.” This phrase speaks to the idea that love is an enduring and resilient force that can withstand the tests of time and hardship. It acknowledges that the couple is making a commitment to each other that should endure for the rest of their lives.

Another phrase commonly used in a handfasting ceremony is “May the vows you have spoken never grow bitter in your mouths.” This phrase highlights the importance of honesty and communication in any relationship. It recognizes that there may be difficult times ahead, but that the couple has committed to facing those challenges together, honestly and openly.

In many handfasting ceremonies, the couple will also declare their intentions to each other. These declarations often take the form of promises or vows that express the couple’s love, commitment, and respect for each other. Some couples choose to write their own vows, while others may use traditional vows that have been passed down through the ages.

The Symbolism of the Handfasting Knot

Of course, the most obvious symbol in a handfasting ceremony is the knot that is tied between the couple’s hands. This knot is often made from a cord or ribbon that has been chosen for its color or symbolism. For example, a green cord might symbolize growth and renewal, while a red cord might symbolize passion and love.

But what does the knot itself represent? There are many interpretations, but one common explanation is that the knot represents the bond between the couple. It is a physical symbol of their commitment to each other, and it serves as a reminder of the promises they have made. The knot is also a symbol of strength and resilience; once tied, it is not easily undone.


The Celtic handfasting ceremony is a beautiful and meaningful way for couples to express their love and commitment to each other. The words spoken during the ceremony are carefully chosen to reflect the couple’s understanding of the sacred nature of the ritual, as well as their hopes and intentions for their future together. The knot they tie represents the enduring strength of their commitment, and serves as a reminder of the promises they have made. Whether you are of Celtic heritage or simply drawn to the tradition, a handfasting ceremony can be a powerful and moving way to celebrate your love.


What is the blessing of the hands in Celtic?

In Celtic tradition, the blessing of hands is a spiritual and ritualistic practice that symbolizes unity and connection. This practice is often used during hand-fasting ceremonies in which a couple’s hands are literally tied together to symbolize their relationship and commitment to one another.

The blessing of hands involves the recitation of specific prayers and blessings that are meant to invoke the powers of the universe and call upon the blessings of the divine to bless and protect the couple. The practice is deeply rooted in Celtic spirituality and is considered to be a sacred act that draws the couple closer together spiritually and emotionally.

In addition to hand-fasting, the blessing of hands can also be used in other contexts, such as healing rituals, blessings for new ventures or goals, and blessings for loved ones. The hands are seen as a powerful symbol of connection, and the act of blessing them is believed to create a powerful bond between the recipient and the blessings invoked.

The blessing of hands can be performed by anyone who has had the proper training and has been initiated into the practice. It is often performed by Celtic priests or priestesses who have undergone extensive training in the traditions and rituals of Celtic spirituality.

The blessing of hands is a beautiful and powerful practice that can be used to deepen connections and foster spiritual growth and unity. Whether used in a hand-fasting ceremony or other applications, this practice stands as a testament to the enduring power of faith, ritual, and connection.

What is the most famous Celtic prayer?

Celtic prayers have been recited for centuries, and are known for their poetic language and deep spiritual meaning. Among the most famous of these prayers is the Irish blessing, which is also referred to as the “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You” prayer.

This famous Celtic prayer is a traditional Irish blessing that has been recited for generations. It is typically used as a farewell message, but it can also be used to express well-wishes or as a form of meditation. The prayer begins with the line “May the road rise up to meet you,” which is a metaphor for a journey or a new phase in life. It is often interpreted as a plea for God’s protection and guidance.

The second line of the prayer, “May the wind be always at your back,” is another metaphor that is meant to convey a sense of support and encouragement. Just as a gust of wind can help a sailor navigate the sea, so too can the support of others help us navigate the challenges of life.

The third line, “May the sun shine warm upon your face,” is a beautiful image of warmth and comfort. It is a wish for happiness and joy in the recipient’s life. The next line, “the rains fall soft upon your fields,” is a wish for prosperity and abundance.

Finally, the prayer ends with the line “until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” This is a reminder that, regardless of what happens in life, we are always in God’s loving embrace. It is a profound and reassuring message, and it serves as a source of comfort and hope for many.

The most famous Celtic prayer is the Irish blessing, which is also known as the “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You” prayer. This beautiful and timeless prayer is a heartfelt expression of well-wishes and blessings, and it is beloved by people of all cultures and faiths. Its poetic language and deep spiritual meaning make it a true gem of Celtic spirituality.

What is the promise Celtic symbol?

The promise Celtic symbol has its roots in Irish culture and tradition. The design is commonly found in Irish Promise rings, also known as Claddagh rings, which feature a crowned heart held by two hands.

The Claddagh ring is considered a universal symbol of love and loyalty. It is named after Claddagh, a fishing village located in Galway, Ireland, where the ring was first made. The design of the ring dates back to the 17th century and has since become synonymous with Irish culture and heritage.

The hands on the Claddagh ring represent friendship, the heart signifies love, and the crown symbolizes loyalty. These three virtues are essential components of lifelong relationships and are celebrated in the promise Celtic symbol.

Couples who exchange Claddagh rings are making a commitment to each other, promising their love, loyalty and friendship. Often given as a pre-engagement or engagement gift, the Claddagh ring serves as a symbol of the deep love and commitment between two people.

The promise Celtic symbol is a timeless and beautiful piece of jewelry that captures the essence of Irish culture and tradition. Whether given as a gift or worn as a personal reminder of enduring love, the Claddagh ring is sure to bring joy and happiness to the wearer.