Start fresh with this hand-washing unity ceremony

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By: jusu – CC BY 2.0
Handwashing ceremony bowl with flowers! Phot oby jusuCC BY 2.0

Offbeat Bride reader Adrianne informed us about a special unity ceremony she's doing with her sweetie. We just had to share it with ALL y'all…

We are doing a hand washing ceremony, I think it's going to be very meaningful. Here's how…

Hand washing ceremony

Couple approaches a table with a glass bowl of water and two hand towels. Having flowers or lemon slices floating in the water is a nice touch.

Officiant: Today, in front of your family and friends, you start your life together anew as a married couple. As with any new endeavor, it is best to start with a clean slate — putting problems big and small behind you. You come acknowledging that the person you have chosen is not perfect, yet fits with you in a way no other person can. Whatever difficulties you may have experienced, today you have decided that your love is bigger than any of them, and you have chosen a life together. Water brings forgiveness and we all need forgiveness. We need to forgive others and we need to forgive ourselves.

Officiant: As you wash your hands in this bowl of water, forgive yourself and each other for any pain in the past. Allow yourself to be forgiven for your human imperfections.

Couple washes their hands.

Officiant: Allowing yourselves to have your hands dried by each other signifies your vulnerability. And we have to be vulnerable — it breaks through isolation and in our own vulnerability, we become more caring and understanding of our mate. In a loving and compassionate marriage, to achieve the greatest intimacy, you must have the courage to be open and vulnerable to each other.

They dry one another's hands.

Officiant: Do you begin your lives together with grace and compassion?

Couple: We do.

Then transition into vows.

Anyone else participating in a ceremony that symbolizes a fresh start? What are you doing?

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Comments on Start fresh with this hand-washing unity ceremony

  1. This is awesome….so luv this idea! Wondering if it would work for the 3 of us drying of hands that is. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. This is an absolute amazing idea! Personally as I am not a relgious person and I am planning on writing my own vows. I would incorporate this into the vows… Maybe saying my vows as I am drying his hands, placing the ring on after drying then vice Versa… Would this be a silly idea? Thoughts?

    • Ashley, nothing is silly. When it feels right for you, go for it. it is your day, your moment.

  3. Speaking of Unity Ceremonies, does anyone have a great idea for wording/script to use during a Unity ceremony where the Bride and Groom imprint their hands in clay. Any symbolism that would work well with imprinting the hands and marriage? Thanks!

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