Most weddings, whether informal or formal will have a unity candle. The lighting of this candle covers many different cultures, ranging from the Chinese Lantern Festival to Western tradition. This single candle lit together by the bride and groom has a strong symbol of unity, two people now becoming one. For this reason, its intrigue and importance are very popular for the wedding ceremony.
Although this popularity has just reached peaks in the past quarter of a century, the practice is now consideredstandard. During the wedding, the lighting of the candle can vary. However, as you will see from the information below, there is a traditional means for this candle to be lit.
As the Unity candle is lit, now a single candle instead of two taper candles, the symbolic representation is complete. Additionally, the act of the bride and groom blowing out the flame of their individual taper candle indicates that they are extinguishing their old lives as individuals for the union of marriage.
- Before the start of the wedding, a large Unity candle is placed at the front of the church with two slender taper candles in candleholders on either side.
- Once the bride and groom have exchanged wedding vows and rings, they will move forward to where the Unity and taper candles are standing. For some weddings, the two taper candles will burn brightly during the entire ceremony while other times, they are lit just prior to the lighting of the Unity candle.
- These candles are looked upon by the bride and groom together as a representation of two separate lives now joining for life.
- First, the bride lifts her taper candle followed by the groom taking the second taper candle
- Then together, they reach up with their lit taper candles, joining flames on the wick of the Unity candle, lighting it simultaneously
- Once the flame is burning for the Unity candle, both bride and groom blow out the flam of their respective taper candle, placing it back in the candleholder
The lighting of the Unity candle has recently been modified to work in two other situations. The first is for couples that want to place a strong emphasis on their continuing individuality. In this case, they might keep the taper candles burning along side the Unity candle showing that they are indeed one, but also individuals.
The second option is for couples that are bringing children into the marriage. For this situation, there would be additional taper candles next to the bride and grooms candles, each of them representing a child. Then, as the couple takes their candles to light the Unity candle, the children take their candles too and together as a family, the candle is lit.
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