Lighting a unity candle is becoming a popular part of many humanist weddings. Humanist ceremonies may include symbolic acts of your choice and today we’re exploring candle ceremonies in this guide.
A unity candle is lit during a wedding ceremony to symbolise the union of two people. In this modern non-religious ritual, the couple each take a lighted candle and together light a larger unity candle to signify ‘two becoming one’. It is a newer wedding tradition used in secular ceremonies to represent the commitment being made. It is a popular unity ritual in humanist wedding ceremonies.
Rituals like a unity candle ceremony don’t have to come from a religion. They reflect a human love of storytelling, and they can simply be part of the occasion you’ve devised to help tell a story to your friends and loved ones.
Symbolic acts within a wedding ceremony create a moment full of emotion and depth. The unity candle is a classic example in this genre – a brilliant way to make your wedding memorable, unique, and full of feeling for everyone involved.
Lighting a unity candle also makes a beautiful moment for photographs during the ceremony.
At an appropriate moment during the ceremony your celebrant will invite you to light the unity candle.
The celebrant could say some words to explain the meaning of the ritual as you light the unity candle, you could have music, or it can be quiet. The choice is yours.
Lighting the unity candle can be a peaceful moment in the wedding ceremony, where you and your guests take in the emotion of the day.
Some couples choose to invite members of the family to join in the unity candle ceremony at their wedding. This is often the case with couples who already have children, to symbolise the creation of their new family. It can be a lovely way to involve children (and step-children) in your wedding ceremony.
Often the candles are lit by the mothers to express the joining of two families, but you can choose whoever you wish to help you in this special moment, or you can keep it just between you and your partner.
With a humanist ceremony, all options are open to you. Your humanist celebrant will work with you to help make your ceremony a perfect reflection of what you want your wedding to look like, the message you want to convey, and how you want your guests to feel.
Planning the wedding ceremony may seem like a daunting task, but your celebrant can guide you through.
Humanist celebrants are full of wonderful wedding ceremony ideas – like unity candles, handfasting, and symbolic knot-tying – to help you bring your unique love story to life and create your dream wedding.
If lighting a unity candle appeals to you then chat to one of our celebrants about incorporating it into your big day. Whatever your choices, we hope that your wedding is full of meaning and special moments.
A humanist wedding is ideal for couples who want a non-religious wedding that is unique, personalised, and meaningful. It is a ceremony led by a trained humanist celebrant that takes place at a location of your choice and is completely built around you as a couple.
Humanists are non-religious people who believe that this life is the only life we have, that the universe is a natural phenomenon with no supernatural side, and that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. They place human welfare and happiness at the centre of their ethical decision-making. Stephen Fry explains humanism in this short video.
How do you know if you’re a humanist? You’re invited to take our quiz and find out.
Find your local trained humanist wedding celebrant today with our easy-to-use map.
Your ceremony will focus on your love story. It can include unique vows, readings, poems, and any symbolic acts you choose.
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