Navajo Wedding Blessing Now you have lit a fire and that fire should not go out. The two of you now have a fire that represents love, understanding and a philosophy of life. It will give you heat, food, warmth and happiness. The new fire represents a new beginning - a new life and a new family. The fire should keep burning; you should stay together. You have lit the fire for life, until old age separates you.
The unity candle ceremony uses two taper candles with a large pillar candle (called the "unity candle") in the center. At the beginning of the wedding ceremony, a representative from each family (usually the mothers of the bride and groom) light the two taper candles. Later in the ceremony (usually after the formal vows), the bride and groom use the two taper candles to light the large pillar (unity) candle together.
Often a unity candle is decorated with the wedding invitation, an inscription, a picture of the couple, or other ornamentation. The candles are almost always white. The lighting ceremony may be accompanied by special music, an explanation of the symbolism, or just some period of mutual gazing by the happy couple. In some circles, it is customary for the couple to save the unity candle and relight it on anniversaries.
The ceremony is sometimes performed to symbolize the joining together of the two families, and their love for the bride and the groom, into one united family that loves the new husband and wife. More often it is to symbolize the union of two individuals, becoming one in commitment. The popular explanation is that the taper candles are lit by representatives from each family to symbolize the love and allegiance that each family has for either the bride or the groom. As the bride and groom use these two flames to light the unity candle, they bring the love of both families together in a united love of the new couple. Generally, the two tapers are left burning and replaced in their holders (because each family's love for their own willcontinue). However, in some ceremonies they may blow out their individual candles.
When the ceremony is alternatively performed to symbolize simply the joining together of the bride and groom, the tapers may be blown out, to indicate that the two lives have been permanently merged, or they may leave them lit beside the central candle, symbolizing that the now-married partners have not lost their individuality.
During a Unity Candle wedding ceremony the mothers of the bride and groom light candles to the side of the unity (center) candle which represent the separate lives, families and experiences before the wedding day. After the exchange of vows, but before the exchange of rings the bride and groom take each side candle and light the unity candle together, uniting the families and experiences into one.
These are examples of what can be said during your wedding ceremony. It can definitely be personalized!
"BRIDE and GROOM, the two separate candles symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. Please light the candles and that together you light the center candle. The individual candles represent your lives before today. Lighting the center candle represents that your two lives are now joined to one light, and represents the joining together of your two families and sets of friends to one. "
"GROOM AND BRIDE have chosen to affirm their love by the lighting of a unity candle. They have also asked their families to participate in the lighting ceremony. In so doing, they signal their desire to not only join as one in their union, but to unite two families together as one. I want to take a moment to explain what the lighting of these candles represents to them: From every human being there rises a light. 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.
And Finish with:
GROOM AND BRIDE: The brightness of the candles that your families have lit - and the brightness of the unity candle that you will together light - will shine throughout your lives, giving you courage and reassurance in the darkness. May the candle's warmth give you shelter from the cold. May its energy fill your spirits with strength and joy. As you light the Unity Candle, I want to ask you - and all your friends and family that are present today - to see the brightness of the flame as a symbol of the brightness that your own life brings to this new family. As you lift your candles to light your family unity candle together, so may your love for each other light up your life as a family. Your mother's have each lit a candle for each of your families. GROOM AND BRIDE, please use those candles to light the Unity Candle together."
The unity candle symbolises the very essence of the wedding ceremony. Two taper candles, representing the couple as individuals, are used to light a single centre candle as a visible symbol of their commitment to each other. There are many variations on the ceremony and the individual tails are completely up to you. Here are some ideas to help you as you plan your ceremony. Before the ceremony begins, place the unity candle on a small table. To prepare for the ceremony, it is a good idea to light the wicks for a moment. There are several popular options for lighting your taper candles. You can have your parents come forward to light the side tapers as a symbol of your two families coming together as one. At this point, some couples choose to present their mothers with a rose. If you wish, the celebrant or best man and the maid of honor can light the tapers. Or, you may light the tapers yourselves from a candle on the table.
As Bride and Groom together light the centre candle, they will extinguish their own candles, thus letting the centre candle symbolise the union of their lives. As this one light cannot be divided, neither will their lives be divided. If you'd prefer to leave your tapers lit … Bride and Groom come into their marriage relationship as individuals and they do not lose their identity, rather they use their individuality to create and strengthen the relationship of marriage. Therefore, the three candles remain lit, one for each of them and one for their marriage. This represents your commitment to each other and to a lasting and loving marriage. The Unity Candle symbolises the new family you are now forming from your past lives. The flames you light it with both burn brighter when joined together. Now you both are charged with keeping this flame bright for the rest of your days.
A candle ceremony is not recommended to be done outside since the candles will not stay lit.