The unity candle ceremony is a popular tradition for weddings. With a little bit of adaptation, Latter-day Saint bride and grooms can use the simple act of lighting candles to involve their families in their ring ceremony while symbolizing the light of the gospel.
We’ve written out our candle lighting ideas below to help you get started, but feel free to make changes or additions based on your personal circumstances.
The Candles & Other Items
Most unity candle ceremonies involve three candles. One taper candle represents the groom, one taper candle represents the bride, and a pillar candle is used for the couple to light together. If you don’t have a lot of time and want a more simple lighting ceremony, this basic set is a great option. Plus, because it’s so popular, you’ll find many specially designed candles to fit your theme. Personalized candles are also popular.
However, because ring ceremonies are often a time to celebrate with and involve family and friends who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we suggest adding some more candles! Set up a series of smaller candles on the decorated table, one for each person you’d like to speak.
The Well-Wishes & Words
Members of the bridal party and family members are common participants. Keep a cute box of matches on hand for them to use with a small disposing jar or have the first person light their candle and have everyone else use that flame.
Have an order for when each person will come up. We suggest starting with bridesmaids and groomsmen, then other family members, then parents. When they come up to light their candle, have them speak well-wishes for the bride and groom, a short thought on love, or a memory of the couple.
The Couple Lights the Candle
After all of the smaller candles are lit on the table, have the couple pick up their respective taper candles and light them using the flames already burning. Use the wording suggestions below to light the candle at the same time.
As we discuss wording, it is important to note any sort of form vows are discouraged and no wording should mimic a marriage ceremony. This is asked of Latter-day Saint couples to preserve the sanctity and importance of the temple sealing. The wording below has been specifically designed to meet these guidelines.
- The church leader conducting the ceremony begins: The light of Jesus Christ is best displayed through love. Today, each of you has covenanted in the Holy Temple to share your love with one another. Separately, you each have a flame. Today, you join together in unity to burn brightly together.
- The bride and groom both speak separately: This flame symbolizes my love and my testimony. I look forward to being united with you for all eternity.
- The couple lights the candle at the same time and then place their singular tapers back in place.
- The church leader speaks: May you always feel the warmth of this love, and the obvious love of your family and friends, and work diligently to keep this flame burning.
A unity candle ceremony can be a simple, yet beautiful way to symbolize the light of your temple marriage. We hope these ideas help you create a ring ceremony that is Spirit-filled and special.