Unity Candle Ceremonies can be conducted in many, many ways, limited only by the imagination. One thing, however, that they all have in common is that they are symbolic of a union / unity for wedding, commitment, vow renewal, naming, reunion and even funeral ceremonies.
Below are three samples of the most frequently used ceremonies.
When possible, the candles representing the bride and groom are lit before the Unity Candle ceremony begins by someone with a special relationship (parent, relative, child, friend) to the bride or groom.
1. Unity Candle Ceremony (Leaving All Candles Burning)
(Now, Bride's name and Groom's name will commemorate their marriage by lighting a Unity Candle (Bride and groom walk over to the candles)
Light is the essence of our existence. Each one of us possesses an inner glow that represents our hopes, our dreams and aspirations in life.
Groom's name and Bride's name, the two distinct candle flames represent your lives before today, individual, unique and special. Please take the candle symbolising your life before today, and together light the center candle to symbolize the union of your individual lives.
(Place the tapers back into their holders—join hands and remain near the candles)
As this new flame burns undivided, so shall your lives now be one. From now on your thoughts will always be for each other rather than just your individual selves. Your plans will be mutual, your joys and sorrows both will be shared alike.
Although you are now entering into a marriage relationship, you do not, however, lose your personal identity. Rather, you will use your special individuality to create and strengthen the relationship of marriage. Therefore all three candles remain glowing.
The individual candles represent all that makes each of you the wonderful and unique person the other admires and respects. The Unity Candle in the center symbolizes the union of your lives, families, and friends, as well as your shining commitment to each other, and to a lasting and loving marriage. *(Walk back to wedding celebrant)
2. Unity Candle Ceremony (Extinguishing Individual Candles)
Same as the above with the addition of:
* Extinguish the two flames symbolizing your previous lives and you are forever united together in love. (Each blows out their individual candle and walk back together to their wedding celebrant)
3. Unity Candle Ceremony (Symbolic, Very Few Words)
Bride's name and Groom's name, the two separate candles symbolise your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends.
I ask that each of you take one of the lit candles and that together you light the centre candle.
The individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the centre candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one.
Each of the above ceremonies can be concluded with:
(Optional to be read by celebrant, if you choose, as you walk back to the the wedding celebrant after lighting the Unity Candle)
May the blessing of light,
Be with you always,
Light without and light within.
And may the sun shine
Upon you and warm your heart
Until it glows
Like a great fire
So that others may feel
The warmth of your love
For one another.
Thanks to the Marriage Man