What better way to symbolise the joining of two souls than the merging of two lights. Light brings hope and allows us to see what is beyond, and fire brings warmth.
The Unity Candle Ceremony is a tradition that provides symbolism for the couple. The couple arrives at the venue as single individuals, each having forged their own pathway, each with individual achievements, hopes and dreams. Each arrives to bring these attributes to the marriage, to share what is best in each other with each other. The single candles and the lighting of them signify all these individual traits, achievements and accomplishments.
During the Unity Candle Ceremony it should be recognised that the lighting of the lights does signify the individuals, however, it may also signify a passing of the light from one generation to another. This is a lovely way to get your parents, or family members, involved in the ceremony and allows for you to customise the ceremony to express your sentiment. It may be that you would like to recognise an aunt, uncle, or an older person who has had an impact on your life and they could have a role to play here. Whether parent, aunts, uncles, friends or the couple themselves light the individual candles, the real magic happens as the lights merge to become one.
I found it amusing that the Unity Candle Ceremony was harnessed by the candle industry, and does really not make an appearance into Christian services until about 50 years ago. That said, fire and light are age-old ceremonial symbols and so hats off to the candle industry who were able to infiltrate Christianity and sell them this idea.
For couples today who want to include the ceremony in their celebration I think that is important to note the following:
- Do not have your individual lights extinguished. This has become the norm in some ceremonies and, as symbolism goes, I do not believe that it delivers the correct message. I am sure that all of you who are getting married want to continue to hold your personal attributes, your individuality and your accomplishments.
- Do not pay a huge amount for a unity candle set. Check out this You tube tutorial which will guide you through a very easy process to create your own personalised candle set.
- Involve people in the ceremony, but only if it is 100% what you want. Do not make these choices to suit other people- Remember Your day Your way.
- Make sure your celebrant has the right words or music ready for this section. Rehearse it because it can take some coordination and make sure that everyone who is involved knows what they are doing, it makes it less nerve wrecking for all.
- Recognise the merging of two into one, this can not be undone, and this should be your hope for the future.
Above all else, enjoy it. Think about what you are doing. Lighting a light that represents you, all that you are and all that you ever will be as an individual and you are choosing to join your light to another. Together, as your lights merge they provide a warmer glow, a brighter light, that will burn to guide you to a joint future.
Embrace the symbolism and forget the candle companies!
If you want help choosing wording just get in contact with me, I would be delighted to help.