Wedding Planning Tip #74 » Unity Candle Ceremony; Celebrating the New Family

Celebrating the New Family – A ceremony for including children in the lighting of the unity candle
(Introduction)
Often, marriage is viewed as the union of only two persons. In reality, however, marriage is much more broad.

As we give thanks for the love that brings ______________________and__________________ together, so, too, we celebrate marriage as the merging of families and recognize the additional love and responsibility family and friends bring to this relationship.

(The unity of God’s family)
We are, in fact, all members of one family – of God’s family. This relationship is emphasized in the Bible, where it is written (Letter from James, adapted from The Living Bible):

“And it was a happy day for God when we received our new lives, through the truth of God’s word, and we became… the first children in God’s new family.”

Other biblical passages emphasizing the oneness of God’s family include Leviticus 26:4-6, Ezekiel 34:25-29, Ephesians 2:14 and Galatians 3:28-29.

(Recognition of Children)
As part of the family nature of God’s creation, we recognize ___________________ and the very important role he/she/they play(s) in this marriage.

Children may be invited forward if they are not already included in the wedding party.

Lighting of the unity candle

The officiant may invite each family member to come forward and, with their individual candles, light the center unity candle.

Through the strength of your one light of love, you commit yourselves to a new future, one which love has created and is creating before our very eyes. May we ever respect the sanctify of this gift.

Participants may return their individual candles to the altar or stand and hold hands while the officiant says:

As we have received the light of love, may we share the strength of our growing love for one another, including, in ever widening paths, those who wait without hope and live without love’s shelter.

Couple may kiss and then embrace children.

(A Blessing)
And now go forth united by the light of God. Go forth with hope and joy and a heart full of dreams,

knowing that God is always with you. Amen.

Presentation of the New Couple and Family

It is my pleasure to present to you ______________________and___________________(0r Mr. And Mrs. _____________________) in their new relationship as husband and wife and their son(s) / daughter(s) / children ______________________________.

Directions for using the following unity wedding ceremonies:

Bold Print indicates statements to be read by the officiant or others

Italic print provides directions

Standard print refers to optional or alternative materials

Wedding Acts and Celebrating Adora

Wedding Planning Tip #73 » Unity Candle Ceremony; The Two and the One

The Two and the One – A contemporary ceremony for lighting the unity candle
What greater thing is there for two souls than to feel that they are joined for life?
To strengthen each other in all labor,
to rest on each other in all sorrow,
to share all joy,
to be one with each other in silent,
unspeakable memories…

-Adapted from George Eliot

(Statement of Marriage)
Marriage brings two people together in a very unique relationship. In their togetherness, they may share many experiences as if they were one person. But each also retains his and her own identity. The miracle of love is that it allows us to overcome our sense of isolation, yet continues to permit us our uniqueness as persons.

From the prophet comes an affirmation of this understanding of togetherness and uniqueness that is at the heart of the marriage relationship.

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days…
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

-Kahlil Gibran

(Lighting of the unity candle)
The poet, John Donne wrote, “Whatever dies was not mixed equally.”

_______________________ and ___________________, take the candles representing your individual lives and together combine your light with the center candle to symbolize the strength and beauty you bring to one another as husband and wife.

Optional: The following may be repeated after the officiant, following the lighting of the unity candle.

Bride and groom (together):

May our respect for each other continue to unite us as one.

(Statement of Hope)
______________________and_____________________, today you have pledged yourselves to a relationship of caring for one another in mutually fulfilling ways. May your togetherness always bring you joy and comfort and may your uniqueness continue to challenge you to live life with courage and creativity.

(A Blessing)
And may the blessing of light be with you always,
Light without and Light within.
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
And for the whole of creation. Amen.

Couple may kiss.

(Presentation of the New Couple)
It is my pleasure to present to you ______________________and___________________(0r Mr. And Mrs. _____________________) in their new relationship as husband and wife.

Directions for using the following unity wedding ceremonies:

Bold Print indicates statements to be read by the officiant or others

Italic print provides directions

Standard print refers to optional or alternative materials

Wedding Acts and Celebrating Adora

Wedding Planning Tip #72 » Unity Candle Ceremony; Let there be Light

“Let there be Light” – A traditional ceremony for lighting the unity candle
It is written in the Bible that a man shall leave his family and a woman shall leave her home and the two shall be as one. (So they are no longer two but one, Jesus declared) What, therefore, God has joined together, let no one put asunder.

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Wedding Planning Tip #70 » Unity Candle Ceremony

The lighting of a Unity Candle is to symbolize marriage as “two becoming one” has become an integral part of today’s weddings for many couples. The lited candles and lamps down through history, has played an important role in weddings, the Unity Candle, as a token for the marriage union, has become a popular custom only within the past 25 years.

Though its popularity has increased, little has been written concerning the ceremony’s use and significance for celebrating the marriage relationship. As a result, what has become a focal point in many services is often a symbolic act with little relevance for proclaiming the depth of married love.

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