Unity Candle Ceremony

How to Have a Unity Candle Ceremony in Your Christian Wedding

Unity Candle Ceremony
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Symbolizing the union of two hearts and lives, the unity candle ceremony can add a deeply meaningful illustration to your Christian wedding ceremony.

How to Do a Unity Candle Ceremony

Three candles and a small table are needed for this service. Typically, two taper candles are placed on either side of a larger pillar candle or center unity candle. The taper candles represent the lives of the bride and groom as individuals prior to their union in marriage.

The outside candles are typically lit by the mothers or another member of the wedding party as part of the processional. The large unity candle remains unlit until the unity candle ceremony.

Some couples choose to light the unity candle while a special song is being sung with no verbal explanation given. Another option is for the minister to give a narrative of the candle lighting ceremony.

During the unity candle ceremony, the couple will move toward the unity candles and stand on either side of the candle holders. Together the couple will pick up their individual candles, and in unison they will light the center unity candle. Then they will blow out their own candles, symbolizing the end of their separate lives.

Sample Unity Candle Ceremony Narrative

The two outside candles have been lit to represent both your lives in this moment. They are two distinct lights, each capable of going their separate ways.

As you join now in marriage, there is a merging of these two lights into one light.

This is what the Lord meant when he said, "On this account a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh." From now on your thoughts shall be for each other rather than your individual selves.

Your plans shall be mutual, your joys and sorrows shall be shared alike.

As you each take a candle and together light the center one, you will extinguish your own candles, thus letting the center candle represent the union of your lives into one flesh. As this one light cannot be divided, neither shall your lives be divided but a united testimony in a Christian home. May the radiance of this one light be a testimony of your unity in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Unity Candle Ceremony Alternatives

If you are planning an outdoor wedding, even the slightest wind will snuff out your best intentions of demonstrating how your two lives are becoming one. You may prefer a less traditional approach and wish to consider alternatives to the unity candle ceremony. Sand, water, cord of three strands, and unity cross ceremonies are all appropriate options to explore for a Christian wedding ceremony.