Hand Fasting; No Trial Marriage
|Celtic Hand-fasting has widely been regarded as
a trial marriage of sorts. Given the nature of the Celts and
Vikings, who also practiced the ritual of hand fasting before the
introduction of Christianity, I find it difficult to believe that a
man who was truly in love or in need of a dowry would run the risk
of loosing his beloved and or source if income after just a year and a
day. Then there is the bigger question, would a warrior even
accept a woman (not a widow) who had already pledged herself to another
man as his wife, enjoying all the spoils of marriage *you know what I
mean* .... (That could be another whole other war story)|
What makes more sense is the sudden and public act of betrothal in a desperate situation such as war or other event would take a man from his village before a vicar, parson, priest or elder was available to perform the wedding. What man is willing to leave his intended behind, virtually unclaimed and fair game for another man, friend or foe.
As many pagan seasons of celebration and ceremony transcended to Christian holidays so did the ancient wedding tradition of gently binding the hands, man to woman, as a symbol of becoming one - being bound to as union and with responsibility . Whether as a symbol of betrothal or wedding no longer matters because the intent is the same. "I take thee, willing to be bound to you forever, for you are where my heart is and where it shall always be...."
That is a vow of marriage.