Old-Fashioned Irish Wedding

Rev. Phil Passantino is now available for
Weddings and Baptisms
Phone: +353 766 060 827

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On June 21, 2008 I officiated Amanda and Jack's wedding on the roof of the Metro Hotel in downtown Manhattan, USA. (It was a hot day, let me tell ya!)

Amanda is from Ireland  :)

Jack actually proposed to her at the top of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's sacred mountain and a pilgrimage place for Catholics & for all who are inspired by Ireland's pre-Christian traditions (SEE PHOTO BELOW). I recently saw an episode of the TV show "Catholic Ireland" which was about making the journey to the mountain's summit; and believe it or not, the very next day I met Amanda & Jack for the first time and they told me their connection with Croagh Patrick. An interesting bit of serendipity...


The ceremony we did was mostly traditional, including rings & prayers. They wrote their own heartfelt vows. Amanda told Jack that he was truly her "Anam Cara" (Irish for soulmate). We also honored Amanda & Jack's lovely children. But the most special & unique part of this wedding to me was the ancient Irish/Celtic tradition of "Hand-fasting". This is the original way that Irish weddings were conducted, hundreds and perhaps thousands of year ago: Amanda & Jack held each other arm in arm, while I draped a beautiful sash with a Celtic weave design on it (handmade by Amanda!!) over their hands, tying it loosely. Then we blessed their hands.

I assure you, this ceremony is unforgettable and whether you're Irish or not, it has a lot of meaning and beauty. Other cultures have similar traditions: I've officiated several Filipino weddings where a cord and veil are tied around the couple. What better symbolism for a wedding ceremony, than to tie the two people together?
(Amanda & Jack's hands remained tied together only for a few minutes, and the sash was removed after they kissed, but we carefully preserved the knot as a keepsake - the ancient tradition is that as long as the knot remains tied, their marriage will stay together...)

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