The Unity Candle Ceremony
A unity candle is a wonderful addition to your wedding ceremony. In this article you'll find some ceremony ideas to guide you through the unity candle lighting ceremony.
Couples use two lit tapers (symbolizing their individuality) to light one big candle as a symbol of their two lives becoming one in commitment.
The bride and groom are the main participants in the unity candle ceremony but many couples choose to have more people involved. You can include your parents, your grand parents, and your children in the lighting of candles before the ceremony. Many couples with children will include the children in the lighting of the actual unity candle, this symbolized that not only has the couple become one but that a new family has been created.
Usually during the processional, the mothers of hte brid and groom light a taper candle in honor of their son or daughter at the altar or a small table at the front of the church. They return to their seats, and the tapers remain lit throughout the ceremony. In many situations the mothers are not available or perhaps others would be a more appropriate choice. This is a truly personal part of the ceremony so it is up to the bride and groom and their officiant as to whom should light the tapers and when.
After the vows and rings have been exchanged, your officiant will explain to the guests the symbolism of the unity candle. He or she asks the bride and groom to take their "individual" lives (the individual taper candles) and bring them both to the larger center candle, lighting one flame with their two individual flames. Many times in order to not have wax drip on the altar the bride and groom will each light a smaller candle groom the tapers and then use those candles to light the unity candle together.
During the lighting of the unity candle, many times couples will have a song sung or played, or the officiant will recite an appropriate poem to accompany the symbolism of the ceremony.
Whether or not ot extinguish the individual tapers after the lighting of the unity candle is up to the couple. Many couples believe that putting out individual flames appears as if their lives have been snuffed out for the benefit of marriage, while some believe extinguishing individual candles only shows their devotion to the commitment they've just made. The decision is usually left entirely up to the couple.
The unity candle ceremony can be performed at the altar, off to the side of the altar at the front of the church, not in a church at all, and last but not least, outside. Many officiants worry about performing such a delicate ceremony outside, because the "forces of nature" may provide obstacles to lighting the candles. Unity candles pose anumber of challenges. Will the wind blow out the candles or will their be a problem lighting the candles? Sometimes candles quite stubbornly refuse to be lit, especially if it is difficult to get the lighting candles close to the wick of the candle being lit. What is the backup plan if the candles go out or refuse to be lit? If you're planning on performing your unity candle ceremony outside, use hurricanes to cover the candles and be sure to practice with them on a windy day to make sure you can finish the ceremony without frustration.
Where you place the unity candle ceremony within the wedding ceremony is up to you although most officiants will suggest waiting until after you've said your vows and exchanged your rings.
Some of the many reasons to include the unity candle in your ceremony all seem to have a central theme: a symbol of unity is always a beautiful thing.