Unity Candle Lighting Ceremony

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Weddings of the Heart

Unity Candle Lighting Ceremony

The lighting of the Unity Candle symbolizes the new union of a husband and wife, two individuals who are becoming one through marriage. A unity candle is actually a set of candles: a large single candle in the center, with two slim taper candles on either side. The candles are placed in holders, either a special unity candleholder or individual bases. The unity candle is often placed off to the side of the area where the wedding ceremony will be performed. Some time during the ceremony, the couple will each take a lighted taper, and together will light the big center candle, symbolizing their unity and commitment to each other. There is no “standard” way to perform the Unity Candle ceremony, nor is there a specific place where it will occur within the ceremony. It is very common to have the Unity Candle ceremony after the exchange of rings and before the pronouncement of husband and wife. But one very nice thing about this ceremony is that it can be customized and the individual details are completely up to you. Here are some ideas to help you with the planning of your Unity Candle Ceremony: Prior to the ceremony: The unity candle area is set up. It is often a good idea to light the wicks ahead of time then blow them out (just a suggestion--totally your call on this) Lighting the tapers: There are many different variations on lighting the side tapers. Some people have them already burning before the ceremony starts, to symbolize the bride and the groom as individuals. You can opt to have the mother of the bride and groom each light one candle with special music playing while this is going on. The mother of the groom is escorted in by either an usher or a male member of the brides family, where she will then light a taper then is ushered to her seat. The mother of the bride is escorted in by often escorted by an usher or a male member of the grooms family or the groom where she will light the other taper, then she gets escorted to her seat. At this time the bridesmaids music begins and the ceremony starts. Lighting the center candle: The couple will move to the area where the Unity Candle is displayed. Each will take a taper, and together they will light the large center candle.

Candle Lighting Ceremony - Couple

Sample A There is a spiritual teaching that says “From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven, and when two souls that are destined for each other find one another, their streams of light flow together, and a single brighter light shines forth from their united beings”. ________ & ________, truly your souls have found and recognized one another. You have come to see and honor that precious light that shines within each of you. And you have come to understand that together you can shine far brighter than either of you could ever shine alone. ________ & ______, you will each take a lit candle representing your individual families and together light the Unity candle – the candle that symbolizes your marriage, and the new family created through your marriage, knowing that God is present in this union. Call upon this Divine Presence for guidance, strength, patience and peace, as you seek to live your lives together in ever-deepening understanding and love. Sample B The tradition of the Unity Candles is meant to symbolize the stages of your lives. The two lit candles represent your lives to this moment. They are two distinct lights, each capable of going its separate way. To bring joy and radiance into your home, there must be a merging of these two flames into one. Sample C As you each take a candle and together light the center one, you will extinguish your own candles, thus having the center candle represent the union of your two lives into one. You begin to light the center candle as I say: "As this center light cannot be divided, let not your lives be divided. From this time onward may your thoughts be for each other rather than on your individual selves; may your plans be mutual, your joys and your sorrows shared."

Candle Lighting Ceremony with Parents (and/or Children)

Sample A To begin this wonderful ceremony, I would like to invite the two mothers to light the unity candle. In lighting these candles the two mothers honor the lives of their children, the lives they brought into this world. To the couple, the lighting of these candles symbolize the joining of two families. The two side candles represent the young couple's individual lives and how each is unique and special. The center candle represents the new oneness they are choosing in marriage. In mutual up building, they give to one another: light, warmth, guidance, and love. But in marriage, the self is not extinguished. The side candles remain lit because wholeness and fullness of life depend upon the balance of individuality and togetherness. As the two mothers light their candle, they offer their love, respect and support for this marriage. If the couple are bringing children into the marriage, you can opt to have the children light the tapers.