UNITY CANDLE, MEMORIAL CANDLE, UNITY SAND CEREMONY
Here is a beautiful unity candle ceremony for your wedding or commitmen.! For garden weddings or outside wedding venues, the wedding sand ceremony is strongly recommended instead, since a three-mile-an-hour wind can blow out a candle! A memorial candle ceremony can be a deeply moving tribute to a beloved family member who taught you important lessons of love earlier in your life. If you are renewing wedding vows, bring the unity candle from your wedding day and relight it, or bring a new candle to symbolize renewal. This is also a good time to sign the marriage license in front of all your guests while a song is playing.
If you decide to have a Unity Candle, you will need two standard tapers and one large candle in the middle. Foothills Chapel can provide the candle holders. The two outer candles are lit just prior to the ceremony, either by the ushers, the mothers of the participants, or other family members. If it’s too windy to light the candles outside, it is possible to include the words below in the ceremony, with minor alterations, and then to light the candle indoors afterwards.
Wedding ceremony sand: We recommend a big clear glass cylinder with two contrasting bright colors of sand. “Natural” colors of sand (like beige and brown) just aren’t as pretty when you mix them together! Avoid containers with narrow lips on the top, because if you’re nervous, you may spill most of the sand onto the ground. You pick up your two smaller glass cylinders and gradually pour the sand in together, creatively swirling it all around to create beautiful patterns of sand representing the unity of your lives. The wording is changed a bit from the Unity Candle ceremony below, but at the end I also add this blessing:
“May your love last longer than it would take to separate out these individual grains of sand.”
Memorial candle ceremony: If loved ones have passed away, you may wish to light a memorial candle in their honor at this time. Rev. Chris Mohr will offer a few encouraging words honoring the deceased, saying that they live on in the love they gave you, and that they are here with you today through the spirit of love they shared with you.
Unity Candle Ceremony Words: The flame has traditionally been thought of as a symbol of the spirit. __________________ and ___________________, you have learned much in your individual lives. [Optional, if the mothers have lit the candles just before the ceremony: Your mothers are both here to bless your marriage [commitment], and it is fitting that they have lit the two individual candles you see here. For it is they who brought you life, and taught you your first lessons about love.] Your [other] family members, and friends, many of whom are here with you today, have all been a part of your individual lives, and have shared with you your hopes, your dreams, your triumphs, your sufferings. But at some point the two of you met one another, and something started growing between you that was not just _____________ and not just _________________.
There’s a special way you are together that’s just not like the way you’ve ever been with anyone else. You have a way of sharing with each other, of laughing and joking together, that’s unlike with anybody else. That special love you felt for one another continued to grow, bringing you to this moment, when you are committing your love to one another, and building a life together. Just as the flame you are about to light is not created solely by either candle, so too is your love not the sole possession or creation of either of you. As a symbol of the spirit of love that has grown between you, I would like to ask you to light the Unity Candle at this time. (This is another good time for a song, if you wish to have music during the ceremony.)