who wraps the hands in hand fasting

who wraps the hands in hand fasting

Handfasting is an ancient Celtic tradition that symbolizes the joining of two individuals in marriage. One of the significant rituals during a handfasting ceremony is the wrapping of the hands. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of who wraps the hands in handfasting, including the roles, significance, and variations of this practice.

The Roles of Hand Wrappers

During a handfasting ceremony, the task of wrapping the hands is typically performed by a designated individual or individuals. This role can be fulfilled by family members, friends, or even the couple themselves. The choice of hand wrappers can vary depending on cultural customs, personal preferences, and the significance attached to the act.

1. Family Members: In some traditions, family members, such as parents or grandparents, are chosen to wrap the hands of the couple. This symbolizes the support and blessings of the family for the union.

2. Friends: Close friends of the couple may also be selected to wrap the hands. This choice represents the importance of friendship and the role of these individuals in the couple’s lives.

3. Couple Themselves: In modern handfasting ceremonies, the couple may choose to wrap their own hands, emphasizing their personal commitment to each other and their equal participation in the ceremony.

The Significance of Hand Wrapping

The act of wrapping the hands holds deep symbolism in a handfasting ceremony. It represents the binding together of the couple, both physically and spiritually. The wrapping serves as a visual representation of the vows and promises made by the couple, as well as the support and blessings bestowed upon them by their loved ones.

1. Unity: The intertwining of the hands symbolizes the unity and connection between the couple. It signifies their commitment to journey through life together, supporting and relying on each other.

2. Protection: The wrapping of the hands is believed to provide protection and ward off negative energies. It creates a shield around the couple, ensuring their love and bond remain strong throughout their married life.

3. Continuity: The act of hand wrapping is a link to the past and a way to honor ancestral traditions. It connects the couple to their lineage and represents the continuation of their family legacy.

Variations of Hand Wrapping

who wraps the hands in hand fasting

Hand wrapping rituals can vary across different cultures and individual preferences. Here are a few variations that can be observed:

1. Fabric Choices: The material used for hand wrapping can vary, ranging from ribbons and cords to specially chosen fabrics with personal significance to the couple.

2. Knots and Patterns: Some handfasting ceremonies involve intricate knotting or specific patterns when wrapping the hands. These knots and patterns may hold symbolic meanings, such as the infinity symbol representing eternal love.

3. Blessings and Prayers: During the hand wrapping, blessings and prayers may be recited by the hand wrappers or a designated officiant. These words add a spiritual and sacred element to the ceremony.


The act of wrapping the hands in handfasting ceremonies is a beautiful and meaningful ritual. Whether performed by family members, friends, or the couple themselves, it symbolizes unity, protection, and continuity. The variations in hand wrapping reflect the uniqueness of each couple and their cultural background. Through this ritual, the couple embarks on their journey together, supported by the love and blessings of their loved ones.

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