(Serving the Amicalola Falls area in the North Georgia Mountains)
A Unity Candle ceremony is a beautiful way to affirm the togetherness of a newly married couple. It has two tapered candles to either side of a larger candle in the middle. These can be of any size or color of your choosing, but normally are white or off-white. They are set up front on an altar or table where the couple and minister will stand.
Often, the couple chooses to have their mothers go up before the ceremony begins and light the two tapers on the sides. If there is another person who should be so honored, that is fine. The choice is up to the couple.
During the ceremony, the bride and groom each pick up one of the tapered candles and then together light the center one, metaphorically showing their togetherness. Sometimes they blow the individual one out and at other times the couple chooses to leave those burning as well, symbolizing that they are still individuals even as they are together now.
If you are having your unity candle vows outdoors, the wind can sometimes cause problems with candles. One option is to use glass hurricane covers on them. The other option is to use a sand ceremony instead, which works very well outside.
Here are some of the wordings used during the Unity Candle vows.
Unity Candle Ceremony # 1
Before I pronounce you husband and wife, I should like to have both of you light this candle. The lighting of this single candle represents the bond of spiritual love that shall always mark your marriage. Light is symbolic of truth, of that which is good.
Light can be many things to many people, such as divine truth, divine intelligence, divine life, a good thought, or the life force itself. Light is of God and His Truth; a candle represents whatever of God’s love, wisdom and truth we are able to express in our lives.
Let each of you therefore, seek always to share your light with the other in life. The loving words and thoughts that each of you share with the other will not only bless and illumine each other’s heart, but the greater light of the love of both of you together will touch many. Now offer the candle as a living dedication to your marriage...
Unity Candle Ceremony # 2
(If unity candles are used, bride and groom each pick up one lighted candle and together light the center one as the following words are read):
Let us give praise to the joy of life in whose spirit this candle is lit. As together you now stand, so may you in faithful union and devotion to each other draw contentment, comfort and happiness from the light of life and thereby may find life’s joy doubly gladdened, its bitterness sweetened and all things hallowed by true companionship and love.
Unity Candle Ceremony # 3
________ and _______ will light the unity candle, signifying the creation of a new family with the joining of these two groups by their marriage. The flames are reminders of God's love in the lives of _______ and _____ and the lives of their relatives. Their two candles remain lit, signifying that God's love continues on in the their respective families, even as ______ and ____ begin to build a new relationship together.