The unity candle ceremony is often included at a wedding ceremony to make it all the more special. Usually the unity candle ceremony is performed towards the concluding part of the marriage function- between the exchange of vows and the formal declaration of the wedding. However, unity candles can be used ceremoniously for other functions too- both religious and non-religious. This is because it is non-denominational and also do not bear any religious connotation.
The set of unity candles comprises of two slender candles and a large central candle. The two slender candles are referred to as tapers. It is the white candles that are commonly used as unity candles and colored ones are rarely found at solemn occasions of marriages.
The right way of using unity candles ceremoniously
It may be noted that the two slender or outer candles (the tapers) are representative of the individual lives of the bride and the groom prior to the marriage. All that the bride and the groom stand for- their knowledge, experiences etc. are signified by the two respective tapers. They may also be considered to be standing for the respective families of the bride and the groom. The taking of the two lighted tapers to the center candle (the central unity candle) and lighting it with both candles together symbolizes the union brought about by the bond of marriage.
After lighting of the central candle the slender candles may or may not be extinguished. This depends on whether the bride and the groom feel like extinguishing their individualities and merging into one or whether they still wish to retain their individual identities while being united at heart. Soft music may also be played at this special unity candle ceremony taking place in the solemn occasion of marriage.
The right kinds of candles to be used at unity candle ceremonies
The two slender and one large central candle used may be suitably decorated too. Pictures of the couple, mementos, inscriptions and adornments of different kinds may be added. However, it is to be ensured that no decorative beads, ribbons or laces are present around the candles for such adornments can easily lead to inflammation. In case of outdoor ceremonies pre-lighting of the candles may be helpful. Extra lighters may also be kept ready at hand lest the winds decide to blow out the candle during the ceremonies. Placing the candles inside a glass hurricane lamp can also be helpful in case of outdoor ceremonies.
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Tania Penwell is a successful author who provides information on unity candles and wedding candles for Candles 4U - your guide to candles and candlemaking.