Marriage and The Hand Washing Tradition

Wedding ceremony script idea for incorporating the and washing ritual into the ceremony. Where DID this tradition come from?

Weddings and traditions seem to go hand in hand.  For instance, hand washing is a tradition that was and still is practiced at some wedding ceremonies.   According to weddingdetails.com in some Native American Cultures; Water is used as a symbol of purification and cleansing. The bride and groom have a ceremonial washing of hands to wash away past evils and memories of past loves.  According to idostill.com The ceremony is about starting this new chapter of your marriage with a clean slate and being vulnerable together to increase your closeness.  This practice is a beautiful way to profess your love for one another.

Water is a sign of purity and renewal as well as cleansing and cleanliness.  We all need water to survive.  We use it to drink, to cook, to prepare food, and to bathe so there is no question that this hand washing tradition, dating back to Hebrew times, is still common in many weddings ceremonies today particularly Native American cultures.  To partake in this ritual you will need:

-Large Bowl filled with water (the water can contain flowers or lemon slices to make it look attractive)

-Two hand towels

Placement – This Ceremony Enhancement is done before the Vows.

Rev Pam at the LittleWeddingVenue.com i Chicago uses this ritual quite often. here is an excert from a ceremony you may be able to use…

Rev. Pam’s Opening Welcome to this beautiful day. Love is the reason we are here.  To witness the union of xxx and xx who have come to me signifying their desire to be formally and legally united in marriage. Today, this couple will start a new life together. The vows they are about to exchange here today serve as a verbal representation of their eternal love for each other. And in doing so, they unite together and start a new and legal family.

SO- We will begin this union with the washing of hands. An old ritual used to purify the couple, to help balance and removing anything from their past they don’t want in this relationship. (Mom will you help us?)This will be a sign for the maidens to help as well. The coupe begins to wash and have their hands dried by the maids. Rev Pam States: xxx and xx, The washing of your hands most importantly represents a complete and utter forgiveness of yourselves, and those who have hurt you. Recognizing that all you have gone through and experienced brought you to this moment now. Let it go… It is gone. The past must stay in the past and you and your bride will now move on to create a new future together. Therefore from this day forward your lives together are anew. Do not speak of the past, it has no hold over you. What you do now is what is important, for it is not the words that you speak that unite you, but your actions that define you and will keep you together.  SO- Being assured then, that no legal, moral, or religious barriers hinder this proper union, please face each other and join your hands and give heed to the questions I now ask you.

Sources: http//:www.weddingdetails.com and http//:www.idostill.com
ChicagoPaganWeddings.com

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