Jumping the Broom
A tradition with African origins a couple jumps over the handle of a broom that has been lad on the ground before them. Jumping the broom sybolizes the sweeping away of the brides and grooms past and seperant lives that the couple may start a fresh new life together.
Elemets for a Wedding or Handfasting Ceremony
Tying the Knot
This is the major element of a handfasting. Tying the knot involves the officiant of the ceremony to loop a cord around the wrists of the bride and groom as they hold left hands. The cord ends are then tied together using a square knot also known as a love knot. During the looping of the cord the officiant asks questions of the bride and groom and at the end the officiant declares the bride and groom bound together in marriage. At the end of the ceremony the married couple release each others hands and the cord is removed without untying it. According to tradition as long as the cord stays tied the couple will stay together.
The Double Ring Exchange
The double ring exchange is one of the most common elements of a modern western wedding ceremony it is usually accompanied with the saying of vows. This element is actually relatively new but it caught on quickly and is now the standard form of ceremony preformed in western society.
In religious ceremonies the rings are prayed over.
The groom is then given a ring and told to place it on the left ring finger of the bride, As the ring is being placed the groom is told to repeat a vow. The vow veries but in general the following or a verient of is used: I, (name), take you (name), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
The bride is give the second ring and told to place it on the grooms left hand ring finger. As the ring is being placed on the finger she to repeats the vow.
Apache Wedding Song
These words actually come from a movie but they make a nice closing to a ceremony.
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place
To enter into the days of your togetherness
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.