The lighting of a unity candle is a relatively recent addition to the traditional wedding ceremony. The unity candle ceremony is conducted using two taper candles with a larger pillar candle referred to as the unity candle in the centre.
At the beginning of the unity candle ceremony, the two taper candles are lit by the mothers of the bride and groom. As the wedding ceremony progresses and the bride and groom have said their vows, they will each take one of the burning taper candles and light the larger pillar candle together.
As this is a segment of the ceremony that is taken very seriously, think about decorating the table on which the candles stand with some things that are very personal to you. Or you could simply use your wedding invitation, a pretty arrangement of flowers and ribbons to add a touch of class. Perhaps include a favourite photo of the two of you – could be from your engagement or just one that you really love. If your budget allows, a large cut-out of your joint initials is a great idea and adds weight to the symbolism of the moment. Generally all three candles are white or you may choose to have the taper candles in the colour of your theme and just the unity candle in white.
The lighting of the candle can be accompanied by some specially chosen music, an explanation read by the officiant of the symbolism or just a moment of silence to allow the two of you to absorb the significance of the moment. It is customary for the bride and groom to keep the unity candle which will be relit annually to celebrate the anniversary of their union.
If you’ve never been witness to a unity candle ceremony, here is a sample :
“The bride and groom have chosen to affirm their love by the lighting of this unity candle. Through asking their families to be part of the lighting ceremony, they signal their desire to not only join as one in their union but to also unite their two families together as one.
Every human emanates light out into the world and when two souls that are destined for each other find one another, their streams of light flow together and a single, brighter light goes forth from their united being.
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.”