Candle Lighting Ceremony


Candles and candle holders are provided by the couple to be married. The three Candles are normally white – arranged on a table in front of the couple. The centre candle, called the Wedding or Unity Candle is sometimes being a bit larger than the two outside “family” candles. If the candles are carried in the Wedding Processional the Unity candle is already sitting on the table and only the two family candles are processed.
When candle lighting is done – music can be played – or a solo sung – or a hymn sung by all, or there can be no music at all.
Candle lighting is divided into two parts – the lighting of the family candles and the lighting of the Unity or Wedding Candle. Part Two follows the exchange of vows and declaration and blessing of the marriage.
Part One can take place at the time indicated in this outline, or a bit earlier, for example on occasion couples have their mothers, who seated last, light the candles just before they are seated and then the wedding processional starts. If this is the case, the words below are not said by the presider.


Part One — Candles, representing the lives of both – Name – and – Name – and the union of the two families will be lit by their mothers (friends, children) – Lighter’s Name – and – Lighter’s Name –

Part Two — Name – and – Name – will now light the Unity Candle, symbolizing the merging of their two lives.

Or Part Two (long version) — In a moment – Name – and – Name – will light their wedding candle from the two already burning. Doing so symbolizes the merging of their lives into one.

STYLE TWO (Palumbo)

Part One — The two outside candles that have been placed here are lit by members of both families to represent the lives of – Name – and – Name – to this moment. Their lights, representing the faith, wisdom, and love they have received from their parents are distinct, each burning alone. After the exchange of vows, – Name – and – Name – will light the centre candle, representing the union of their lives.

Part Two — The Bride and Groom will now light the Unity Candle to symbolize the union of their lives. From now on their thoughts shall be for each other, and joys and sorrows shall be shared alike. By allowing the flame of the two smaller candles to remain lit, they also accept the individuality of each other as a means of fulfilling their oneness.

by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild & Rev. Brett Blair

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”