Halifax Wedding Chapel

Sample Unity Candle Ceremonies

Forever United in God's Love

Today, ____________ and ____________ make a loving commitment to follow the greatest Commandment of all: "Love one another, as I have loved you." They do this in hopes that their union will become a symbol of God's promise to merge two lives into one.

The two distinct flames represent your lives to this moment; individual and unique. As you light the center candle together, the entwined rings symbolize your two lives joined in dependence and growing maturity. Your plans will be mutual, your joys and sorrows will be shared alike. The cross is a reminder of your faith in the Lord who who enriches your marriage in every way.

Extinguish the two, and you are forever united in God's love.


From Every Human Being There Rises a Light...

From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls who are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single, brighter light goes forth from their united being. In this spirit, bride and groom, take your individual candles and light together a third candle which signifies your marital bond.

May the light of love, and the light of understanding, and the light of respect, and the light of tolerance shine eternally for you both.


A Candle of Marriage, Commitment and Unity

This candle you are about to light is a candle of Marriage. Its fire is magical because it represents the light of two people in love.

This candle before you is a candle of Commitment because it takes two people working together to keep it aflame.

This candle is also a candle of Unity because both must come together, giving a spark of themselves, to create the new light.

As you light this candle today, may the brightness of the flame shine throughout your lives. May it give you courage and reassurance in darkness. Warmth and safety in the cold. And strength and joy in your bodies, minds, and spirits.

May your union be forever blessed.

We have more samples available to you when we discuss your ceremony details.


Marriage Vows

Many couples choose the classic and tradition marriage vows, or we can help you personalize your wedding vows to reflect your relationship. You can both say the same vows, or you can say completely different ones. You can also ask your friends and family to participate in your wedding vows.


Prayers

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.


Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counsellor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.
Book of Common Prayer


Blessings

O God, you have so consecrated the covenant of marriage that in it is represented the spiritual unity between Christ and his Church: Send therefore your blessing upon these your servants, that they may so love, honour, and cherish each other in faithfulness and patience, in wisdom and true godliness, that their home may be a haven of blessing and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [Book of Common Prayer].


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. You have lit the fire for life, may it burn until old age separates you.



Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon the fields.

May the light of friendship guide your paths together.
May the laughter of your children grace the halls of your home.
May the joy of living for one another
Trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.

And when eternity beckons,
At the end of a life heaped high with love,
May the good Lord embrace you
With the arms that have nurtured you
The whole length of your joy-filled days.

May the gracious God hold you both
In the palm of his hands.
And, today, may the Spirit of Love
Find a dwelling place in your hearts.
Amen.


Native American Indian Wedding Blessing

And now you shall feel no pain, for each of you shall be comfort for the other. And now you shall feel no rain, for each of you shall be shelter for the other. And now you shall feel no cold, for each of you shall be warmth for the other. Now there is no loneliness for you. You are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May your life together be good and long upon the earth.


Contemporary Blessing

Blessings upon you both; give to one another new experiences of joy. Challenge one another so that you may grow. May the love you hold for each other, now sealed in marriage, continue to mature with the passing years. May you never take each other for granted, but always experience the wonder of your union. May your life together be a source of strength and inspiration to yourselves, your families, your friends, and to all whose lives you touch.


Benediction

And now unto you - and all who present, may this blessing come upon you - that you be in love, grow in love, stand in love, and act by love - through the God of love - both now and forevermore. Amen


From the Talmud

Blessed art though, O Lord, who makes the bridegroom rejoice with the bride.
Talmud [Ketubot 8]

Readings

1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


A Soul Mate

"A soul mate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected, as though the communication and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a divine grace."
Thomas Moore


A Quote from Mark Twain:

A marriage . . . makes of two fractional lives a whole;
it gives to two purposeless lives
a work, and doubles the strength
of each to perform it;
it gives to two
questioning natures
a reason for living,
and something to live for;
it will give a new gladness
to the sunshine,
a new fragrance to the flowers,
a new beauty to the earth,
and a new mystery to life.


Why Marriage?

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
with all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body.

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
who won't hold them against me,
who loves me when I'm unlikable,
who sees the small child in me, and
who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
with someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold..."

by Mari Nichols


What Greater Thing is There...

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life, to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?
George Eliot


Words from a Native American Wedding Ceremony
[Author Unknown]

May the sun bring you new energies by day,
May the moon softly restore you by night,
May the rain wash away any worries you may have,
And the breeze blow new strength into your being,
And then, all the days of your life,
May you walk gently through the world,
and know its beauty and yours.


Anonymous

My love to my spouse was not only a matrimonial love, as betwixt man and wife,
but a natural love, as the love of brethren, parents and children,
also a sympathetical love, as the love of friends,
likewise a customary love, as the love of acquaintances,
a loyal love, as the love of a subject,
an obedient love, as the love to virtue,
a uniting love, as the love of soul and body,
a pious love, as the love to heaven,
all of which several loves did meet and intermix, making one mass of love.


Untitled [Author Unknown]

Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your love deserves. When frustration, difficulty and fear assail your relationship - as they threaten all relationships at one time or another - remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives - remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.


Love Itself is What is Left Over
When Being in Love has Burned Away

When you fall in love it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then it subsides and when it subsides you have to make a decision, you have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part, because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining he is kissing every part of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. This is just 'being in love,' which any of us can convince ourselves we are in. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away. It doesn't sound very exciting does it? But it is.
Dr. Lannis, Captain Corelli's Mandolin


The Only Beauty that is Never Old

"The world, for me, and all the world can hold
Is circled by your arms: for me there lies,
Within the lights and shadows of your eyes,
The only beauty that is never old."
James Weldon Johnson


Marriage Joins Two People in the Circle of Its Love
by Edmund O'Neil

Marriage is a commitment to life, the best that two people can find and bring out in each other. It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other relationship can equal. It is a physical and an emotional joining that is promised for a lifetime.

Within the circle of its love, marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships. A wife and a husband are each other's best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener, and critic. And there may come times when one partner is heartbroken or ailing, and the love of the other may resemble the tender caring of a parent for a child.

Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life. Happiness is fuller, memories are fresher, commitment is stronger, even anger is felt more strongly, and passes away more quickly.

Marriage understands and forgives the mistakes life is unable to avoid. It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences, and new ways of expressing a love that is deeper than life.

When two people pledge their love and care for each other in marriage, they create a spirit unique unto themselves which binds them closer than any spoken or written words. Marriage is a promise, a potential made in the hearts of two people who love each other and takes a lifetime to fulfill.


Angels Sing For Joy

When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the very angels desert heaven and sit in that hour and sing for joy.
Braham-Sutra


Hand Ceremony

[Bride], please face [Groom] and hold his hands, palms up, so that you may see the gift that they are to you.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands that will work along yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.
These are the hands that you will place with expectant joy against your stomach until he too feels his child stir within you.
These are the hands that look so large and strong, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will work long hours for you and your new family.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will comfort you in illness and hold you when fear or grief wrack your mind.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes, eyes that are completely filled with his overwhelming love and desire for you.

[Groom], please hold [Bride's] hands, palms up, so that you may see the gift that they are to you.
These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young, and carefree that are holding yours on your wedding day, as she pledges her love and commitment to you all the days of her life.
These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness and hurt, supporting and encouraging them along the way, and knowing when its time to let go.
These are the hands that will massage tension from your neck and back in the evenings after you've both had a long hard day.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.
These are the hands that will comfort you when you are sick or console you when you are grieving.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will hold you in joy and excitement and hope, each time she tells you that you are to have another child, that together you have created a new life.
These are the hands that will give you support as she encourages you to chase down your dreams. Together as a team, everything you wish can be realized.

Officiant:
God, bless these hands that you see before you this day. May they always be held by one another. Give them the strength to hold on during the storms of stress and the dark of disillusionment. Keep them tender and gentle as they nurture each other in their wondrous love. Help these hands to continue building a relationship founded in your grace, rich in caring and devoted in reaching for your perfection.

May [Bride] and [Groom] see their four hands as healer, protector, shelter and guide. We ask this in your name.

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