A Detailed Look into the Unity Candle Ceremony


The unity candle has been gaining in popularity in the United States with most traditional wedding ceremonies. The unity candle lighting is seen as a meaningful inclusion in Christian wedding, but be aware it is not practiced in most Catholic or Angelic weddings. If you are hoping to include the unity candle into your wedding, you should know that a number of churches actually prohibit it, so ask it in advance. Read on to get more information of it.

Unity Candle Ceremony: Meaning, Process and Wording


The lighting of the unity candle involves two taper candles and a larger pillar candle, which is known as the unity candle. This unity candle is commonly decorated with various wedding items such as the wedding invitation, a meaningful inscription and a picture of to be newlyweds. All the candles tend to be white in color and most couples will save the unity candle to light on their anniversary.

Most often, the mothers of the bride and groom will begin the ceremony by lighting the taper candles, but this can be done by any member of their family. After the formal vows, the bride and groom will take the pillar candles and together light the larger "unity candle". During this ceremony, special music is played and the significance of the unity candle is explained.

The Meaning

The lighting of the unity candle often signifies the coming together of the two families and symbolizes the love each side has towards the bride and groom. The taper candles used in the unity candle ceremony are viewed as a symbol of the love and support each family has for the bride and groom. When the bride and groom use the flames of the tapers candles to light the larger unity candle, it brings together of this love and support from both families.

Most couples will choose to leave the taper candles burning after the unity candle has been lit to show how the family's love for the bride and groom continues to burn, but it is also appropriate for some couples to blow out the taper candles as they continue with the ceremony.

The Wording

As mentioned above, there may be some explanations when lighting the candle. If you choose to have an explanation recited during the process, below is what you can refer to.

  • When tapers are lit by mom

Sample #1

To begin with, we will witness and celebrate this union through the symbolic lighting of the unity candle.

(Name Bride’s Mother) and (Name Groom Mother) represent the two different families and two different heritages that we gather for here today. We pay tribute to and show our gratitude for the values these families have passed along through loving and nurturing care, and they will continue to flow on in the lives around the new couple.

(Name Bride’s Mother) and (Name Groom Mother) will now please assist in beginning the unity candle ceremony by lighting the taper candles. These candles will represent (bride name) and (groom's name) and the families who have supported, loved and helped shape them into the individuals they are today.

  • When tapers are lit by the bride and groom

Sample #1

The center candle, the unity candle, is a symbol of the marriage and joining together of both families into one. It not only represents the new beginnings for the couple as husband and wife, but also reminds us of the love and light that are provided to us from families and friends. May the candles be a reminder that you are making a commitment to work together to keep the flames burning strong. Understand that both individuals must come together to contribute their own spark to ignite a new light.

Will (Bride's name) and (Groom's name) please take the taper candles which represents you as individuals and step forward to light the unity candle to signify your marriage.

(Bride and Groom then light the unity candle)

May the light of this flame shine throughout your lives and give you courage, reassurance, and hope in the times of darkness, struggle and uncertainties. May you have everlasting love, joy and blessing through your union.

Sample #2

Your marriage is represented by the center candle. This candle signifies the joining/union of two spirits, lives and two souls into one marriage. As you use your taper candles to light the unity candle together, remember the pledge and commitment you are making towards one another. A pledge that is built on truth and purity that will strengthen your friendship, passion and the deepest love you possess in your souls. This pledge you make towards one another is only made possible when it is from one heart to another.

Now as husband and wife, you are offering yourselves in the creation of your new future together. At this time, the unity candle will continue to burn brightly as the joining of both sides. The taper candles representing yourselves will not be dismissed, however, because you, as individuals, do not disappear in a marriage. Instead, you come together to support and love one another. May this unity candle ceremony signifies the miracles that can happen through true love, and today represents the beautiful beginnings you are about to embark on.