Sheamah Ceremonies – Jules the Diversity Celebrant

Civil Ceremonies, Marriage, Hand Fasting, Renewing Vows, Naming Ceremonies, Celebration of Life.

I completed my Celebrant training in November 2021 with the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants under the training of Terri Shanks and Michelle Taylor. I completed my Handfasting qualification through Sacred Celebrants Academy under Dawn Kinsella and Gregg Kinsell . Being part of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants gave me the confidence and knowledge to professionally deliver ceremonies and the course was intense, and delivered to a high standard. Although we covered the Hand Fasting Ritual and shown how this could be integrated into a civil partnership or marriage it was extremely beneficial for me to be trained in the Celtic traditional Hand Fasting Ceremony from Dawn KInsella from Sacred Celebrants Academy. 

To train and qualify as a celebrant seemed a natural part of my Spiritual journey. To be a Celebrant is magic, comes from the love of being with people, sharing those special moments in their lives. To share the range of emotions, the dreams of those involved in the ceremonies is so special it creates shared memories lasting a life time. 

Being a Celebrant is about being professional, dedicated to working in partnership with people on a personal level. Getting to know your clients so the ceremony can be delivered on a personal level, with a unique blend that enriches the experience for those present regardless of the occasion. 

Celebrant work involves Civil partnerships; a Marriage; Hand Fasting Ceremony; Renewing vows; Naming Ceremony; creating new traditions and rituals for generations from the past and into the future. Sheamah Ceremonies prides itself in providing magical occasions filled with emotions of joy, laughter, sharing and rekindling memories.

Celebrating Life when a loved one parts from this world to embark on a new journey is difficult and painful. There maybe sadness when we come together to celebrate the life of a loved one, who has past in Spirit to start a new journey. It is important to Sheamah Ceremonies to be empathic and understanding so we create a funeral service filled with memories, nurturing the families through this difficult process. Creating the start of the healing process, rekindling memories from the past and holding on to them for future generations. 

To be part of the ceremony uniting two people in Civil Partnership, Marriage or Renewing Vows is a honour and creates treasured memories for all involved. To see how the couples relationship started, developed, grew into a partnership of love and friendship ignites a warm glow around you. As a Celebrant you cannot fail to be swept up in the moment of magic. To share their journey and be part of this ritual is a real privilege. When two people share the creation of a ceremony adding personal touches to make it so unique to them, to declare their love, their vows, their rituals is inspiring. To witness the personal growth of their relationship, to share with family and friends is beautiful, filled with laughter and so many wonderful emotions.

A naming ceremony is becoming increasingly popular and a wonderful alternative to a christening. The naming ceremony can cover a variety of rituals. Welcoming the birth of a baby into the family. Families take on many forms and equally filled with love, security and special occasions. Celebrating the adoption of a child, changing the name of a child after a remarriage is special. It can even be equally important to adults who feel it is appropriate to change their name/s following a gender switch. These are all milestones in the rich diversity of rituals and traditions.    

The History of Hand Fasting

The true origin of handfasting is not known, but the typical modern handfasting ceremony is derived from the Celtic tradition, predating Christianity. It is a historical term for the word wedding and as couples in Celtic England could not wander down the high street to buy a gold ring, they used handfasting as their marriage ceremony. Gold bands were also the preserve of the aristocracy, so the relatively simple, but highly symbolic ritual of handfasting, was much more affordable. 

Couples would pledge their intent and love by binding their wrists with strips of fabric torn from old garments, or cord from rope to symbolise their union and would then be tied till midnight. They would often then be escorted to the bedchamber to consummate their union. This part of the ceremony is clearly not necessary in the 21st century, and I have never been asked to stay and carry out this duty!

It was considered that if the couple survived the obstacles of life for the rest of the day then surely they would survive in marriage together. In the Scottish Celtic tradition, the binding would be for a year and a day and if after that they still wanted to stay together the handfasting was formally recognised as their wedding ceremony.

The phrase ‘tying the knot!’ and the action of shaking someone’s hand to agree on something, are probably derived from this action of binding the couples hands together, often with coloured ribbon or cord to symbolise their union of love.

Beautiful words are spoken by the couple, friends of the couple and wedding celebrant at different stages of the ceremony. This makes everyone feel part of the ceremony, makes it relevant to all, romantic and a very special occasion.

Hands can be joined by crossing them or side by side and the ceremony is used by all types of couples as a lovely addition to their hand fasting ceremony, irrespective of religious belief or cultural traditions.

Handfasting is a beautiful, symbolic marriage ceremony, or ritual. It is believed to span several cultures dating back thousands of years. Hand Fasting is widely accepted as being of ancient Celtic origin and a nature-related ritual with a spiritual tradition. It brings together ancient rituals from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.