Start fresh with this hand-washing unity ceremony

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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.

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