Wedding Service Sub-Ceremonies
The items listed here can be added into any wedding service. Many couples like a Unity Candle but needless to say, a Unity Candle is somewhat impractical outdoors. Here you will find in addition to a typical Unity Candle ceremony, some alternatives that can be used indoors and outdoors alike to make your wedding Service a bit more memorable.
The Unity Candle
[Name] and [Name] are going to light their Unity Candle, a symbol of their marriage relationship. The candles from which they light it have been lighted by their mothers to represent their lives to this moment.
The lights, representing the faith, wisdom, and love they have received from their parents, are distinct, each burning alone. [Name] and [Name] will light the center candle to symbolize the union of their lives. As this one light burns undivided, so shall their love be one.
From now on your thoughts shall be for each other rather than for your individual selves. Your joys and sorrows shall be shared alike. May the radiance of this one light be a testimony of your unity. May these candles burn brightly as symbols of your commitment to each other, and as a tribute to your parents' lasting and loving marriages.
The Rose Ceremony
"Your gift to each other for your wedding today has been
your wedding rings - which shall always be an outward demonstration of your vows
of love and respect; and a public showing of your commitment to each other.
You now have what remains the most honorable title which may exist between a man and a woman - the title of "husband" and "wife." For your first gift as husband and wife, that gift will be a single rose.
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing - it meant the words "I love you." So it is appropriate that for your first gift - as husband and wife - that gift would be a single rose.
Please exchange your first gift as husband and wife.
(Sometimes a couple will play a special song at this point).
In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding one small rose - and now you are holding one small rose. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you both have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life - one I hope you always remember - the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.
_________ and _____________, I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future - whether it be a large and elegant home - or a small and graceful one - that you both pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a recommitment to your marriage - and a recommitment that THIS will be a marriage based upon love.
In every marriage there are times where it is difficult to find the right words.
It is easiest to hurt who we most love. It is easiest to be most hurt by who we most love.
It might be difficult some time to words to say "I am sorry" or "I forgive you"; "I need you" or "I am hurting". If this should happen, if you simply can not find these words, leave a rose at that spot which both of you have selected - for that rose than says what matters most of all and should overpower all other things and all other words.
That rose says the words: "I still love you."
The other should accept this rose for the words which can not be found, and remember the love and hope that you both share today.
__________ and ________, if there is anything you remember of this marriage ceremony, it is that it was love that brought you here today, it is only love which can make it a glorious union, and it is by love which your marriage shall endure."
Unity Sand Ceremony
If for whatever reason you choose not to use a
Unity Candle during your ceremony, the sand ceremony can be a beautiful and
meaningful addition to your vows. Simply find three containers, one for you and
your fiancé to pour the sand into, two for each of you to pour the sand from.
You can find colored or plain sand at most craft stores. After the officiant
reads the text below (or any text you choose) pour the two containers of sand
into the third container simultaneously. You may wish to leave a small amount of
sand in each container to symbolize that although you are now joined as one, you
each remain individuals.
_______ And _______, you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and the exchange of a kiss, and this covenant is a relationship pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. The most beautiful example of this partnership is the marriage relationship. You have committed here today to share the rest of your lives with each other. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand one, representing you, _______ and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, _______, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will the two of you be in your marriage, inseparable.
Family Sand Ceremony...involving children
_______ and _________, you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and the exchange of vows, and this covenant is a relationship pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives. The most beautiful example of this partnership is the marriage relationship. You have committed here today to share the rest of your lives with each other. Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand one, representing you, _______ and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, _______, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be. Today however is more than just a union between you Jerry, and you, Debbie, it is the merging of two families into a single cohesive group. To symbolize the union of these two families, _______, ________, and _______ will now pour their sand, and as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so shall your family be, inseparable.
Blessing of the Hands…a touching substitute for the Unity Candle
_______, please turn and face____, and hold his hands palms up, where you can see the gift that they are to you.
These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that hold yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within your womb.
These are the hands that look so large and clumsy, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will work long hours to earn money for you and your family.
These are the hands that will be nicked and bruised from fixing things around the house to make you more comfortable.
These are the hands that will caress your body through the years, to make the passion of love come alive in you.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe 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 racks your mind.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your check as they raise your face to look into his eyes; eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.
____, please face _______, hold her palms up, so you may see the gift they are to you.
These are the hands hold yours on your wedding day as she gives you her pledge to love you, and accepts your ring.
These are the hands that are smooth and young and carefree now, but will be lined and rougher, working to make you comfortable.
These are the hands that will hold each child in tender love, soothing them through illness, disciplining them when naughty, and wringing themselves in worry when trouble comes.
These are the hands that will hold your face and wipe tears from your eyes in wonder and awe that you would cry for her.
These are the hands that will hold you in joy, excitement and hope each time she tells you that you are to have another child; that together you have created a new life.
Perhaps these are the hands that will comfort you when you are told you cannot have a child, and will convince you that together you will create a new life in other ways.
These are the hands that through the years will caress your body in the passion of love, to enhance your intimacy.
These are the hands that will enter the Sacrament of Matrimony. These four hands will be your armor and shield against the evils and temptations of the world.
These are the hands that will reach out, first to each other, then united, will spread your love and your sacrament to all they touch.
These are the hands that will ease your parents loneliness as you leave the nest, will first teach your own children the marvels of married life, and will be a sign to friends and strangers alike as to just how wonderful married life can be.
Through these four hands, God will renew His Church. These hands are the hope of a troubled humanity. These are the hands that will change the world.