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Celebrate Intimate Weddings

 

with Relationship Speaker/Author/Coach...
Larry James


The Unity Candle Ceremony
candle2.gif

Note from Larry James: Because most of the wedding ceremonies I perform are outdoors, I no longer recommend the Unity Candle Ceremony. The least little puff of wind and the candles are either too difficult to light or they blow out. The Arizona heat is another reason. Often the candles begin to bend in the sun and are not easy to remove from their holders. Indoors the Unity Candle Ceremony works fine! Another option would be to have Larry James peform the Unity Candle ceremony at the reception which is usually indoors.

A really great (recommended) alternative - with similar symbolism - is the Blending of the Sand Ceremony.

•    •    •

A Unity Candle Ceremony can easily be added to any marriage ceremony. It is placed near the end of the ceremony, following the Exchange of Rings. However, the mother's usually lights the two outer candles as they are escorted forward at the beginning of the ceremony. If there are breezes present, they may want to light the taper candles just prior to the Unity Candle Ceremony.

A Unity Candle set consists of two slender candles (called tapers) and a large center candle. They are usually white candles.

The Unity Candle Ceremony is a popular choice for both religious and non-religious ceremonies because it is non-denominational and has no religious significance.

The two outer candles represent your individual lives before today. They represent all that you are from your vast experiences, and they represent your individual families. As you each take a single candle and light the center candle, you will extinguish your individual candles.

Often the Bride will blow out the Groom's taper candle and the Groom will blow out the Brides taper candle. This represents the closing of the chapters in your individual Books of Life and the beginning of new chapters as you begin to write a new book of Life as wife and husband!

Another way to do this is to allow the two taper candles to continue to burn. By allowing the flame of the two taper candles to remain lit, it represents that the Bride and Groom accept the individuality of each other as a means to fulfilling their commitment to one another.

unity candle If you would like to have the entire audience participate, give everyone a candle as they enter. When lighting the Unity Candle, each of you turn and share your light with the first row of seated guests on your side. Let the guests share the flame from their own small candle with the person sitting next to them until all the candles are aglow and you are pronounced wife and husband. The minister can suggest that everyone make a good wish for the Bride and Groom and blow out the candles.

Some couples choose to have soft music playing during the Unity Candle Ceremony.

If you are creating a new family you may want to include the children in the lighting of the Unity Candle. Often this is done by having the bride and groom light the candle for the children and then everyone lighting the center candle together. This is an excellent way to involve children from a previous marriage.
Glass Hurricane Lamp

Tip:  Make sure that there aren't any decorative beads, ribbon or lace around the candles - they can easily catch fire. Consider pre-lighting the taper candles and the Unity candle to make them easier to light in outdoor ceremonies. If your ceremony is outdoors, always have several extra lighters nearby in case the wind decides to blow the candles out. Putting the Unity Candle inside a glass hurricane lamp (see photo) can be very helpful in protecting from the Arizona Desert breeze.

•    •    •

Unity Candle Ceremony - Bride and Groom

unity candle
This day I will marry my friend. The one I laugh with, live for, dream with, Love!

Minister:  You will observe that there are three candles on the Unity table. Through the love and illumination of God, your paths have come together, and in this symbolic ceremony, you will each take a lighted candle, representing your previous separate pathways, and together you will light the Unity candle, symbolizing your willingness to walk life's pathways together as one.

You may now proceed in the lighting of the candle.

Bride, Groom light the Unity Candle.

Minister:  May a kind God forever bless this marriage. And so it is.

•    •    •

Unity Candle Ceremony - Bride, Groom and Children

Minister:  You will observe that there are _______ candles on the Unity table. Through the love and illumination of God, your paths have come together, and in this symbolic ceremony, you will each take a lighted candle, representing your previous separate pathways, and together you will light the Unity candle, symbolizing your willingness to walk life's pathways together as one family.

_______ (# of Children) children will share in this marriage.

Minister to the Children:  _______ and _______ will you please come forward.

Minister:  The gathering of this new family will have a deep influence upon the children. We realize that in order for the home to be a happy one, it is essential that there be love and understanding between the children and the adults being married.

Minister to Bride and Groom:  _______ and _______, is your love for each other broad enough to include _______ and _______ and deep enough to honor their presence in this marriage and to pledge yourselves to love and care for them?

Bride and Groom:  We will.

Minister to the Groom (or Bride):  _______, please light the taper candles for the children.

Minister:  You may all now proceed in the lighting of the Unity candle.

Bride, Groom and children all light the Unity Candle.

Minister:  May a kind God bless you all as family, and bless this marriage and this home, wherever you may be. And so it is.

•    •    •

Unity Candle Ceremony - Bride, Groom and Mothers

Minister:  (ADD the mother's first names) _______ and _______, mothers of the Bride and Groom, will now come forward to light the taper candles for the Unity Candle Ceremony. The two individual flames, one representing each family, will demonstrate to us - in a very beautiful way - the symbol of two who become one as well as the faith, wisdom, and love that _______ and _______ have received from their parents.

Through the love and illumination of God, your paths have come together, and in this symbolic ceremony, you will each take a lighted candle, representing your previous separate pathways, and together you will light the Unity candle, symbolizing your willingness to walk life's pathways together as one.

You may now proceed in the lighting of the candle.

Bride, Groom light the Unity Candle

Minister:  By allowing the flame of the two taper candles to remain lit, they also accept the individuality of each other as a means to fulfilling their commitment to one another. May a kind God forever bless this marriage. And so it is.

•    •    •

Special Note from Larry James: Since about 99% of my wedding ceremonies are at resorts and are outdoors, I no longer recommend the Unity Candle Ceremony. The least little puff of wind and the candles are either too difficult to light or they blow out.

The Arizona heat is another reason. Often the candles begin to bend in the sun and are not easy to remove from their holders. At indoor ceremonies the Unity Candle Ceremony works fine!

If you decide to do the Unity Candle, you may want to read the following tips to help with keeping the candles from being hard to light and from blowing out.

•    •    •
Unity Candle Personalized Unity Candles! - If you appreciate sensational quality, classic styling and exceptional service, then you'll understand why our personalized unity candles are such a tremendous value. Each unity candle is printed and polished by hand resulting in an heirloom quality wedding candle that will be past down for generations. Click here for more information.


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