Five Candles Unity Candle-Lighting Wedding Ceremony
MINISTER: “We will now preform the Five Candles Unity Candle-Lighting Ceremony. Ushers please start by lighting a couple of guest’s candles on the back two rows. Your candle will be lit by someone behind you and your row will light the row in front. Those on the grooms side represent his friends, family, and community and those on the bride’s side hers. Everyone, please stand.”
Cue music to start.
Ushers start by lighting a couple of guest’s candles in the two back rows.
The candle holder with five candles is moved into place.
The bride and groom walk around behind the candle holder facing the audience.
When the lighting gets to the front, the parents’ candles will be lit. (If a parent is not available, friends or family may fill these positions.)
The minister asks everyone to “please be seated”.
But the parents remain standing and, on the signal from the minister, walk up. (If there is music, they may wait until it finishes.)
Together, the parents of the bride light the candle on her end of the candle holder.
Then the groom’s parents, together, light the end candle on his side.
The bride then takes the next candle on her side and lights it from the candle her parents lit.
The groom performs the corresponding action on his side.
Then the bride and groom, together, light the top middle candle symbolizing their union and marriage with the support of their friends, family, and community. They replace the middle side candles they are holding back onto the candle holder.
The minister says to the guests, “Please blow out your candles”.
“Lets all give our applause of support and approval for this marriage.” (or, for “John and Mary’s marriage”) The candles in the holder stay lit for the remainder of the wedding.
When the bride and groom’s table is set up at the reception, the candle holder is placed on the table and the candles lit before the wedding party and guests arrive.
For anniversary celebrations in the years to come, the Five Candles candle holder can be the table centerpiece at anniversary dinners. The husband and wife may ritualistically light the candles again as an affirmation of their love and marriage.
Having the Unity Candle-Lighting Ceremony at the Reception.
Many weddings are celebrated outdoors making it hard to light candles and keep them lit. For this and other reasons, you may want to have your unity candle-lighting ceremony at the reception.
You could have your guests each take a candle from tables on each side of the room and divide up into the Bride and Groom’s side of the room.
The Ushers start the candles being lit from the back of the room. Guests would then pass the light forward, candle to candle, until the Parents’ candles are lit.
The Parents take turns, as couples, together lighting the candles on their child’s the end of the candle holder. (The Bride and Groom are standing behind the candle holder facing the room.)
The Bride and Groom take the next candles and light them from the end candles.
The Bride and Groom then light the middle candle together.
Guests are told to blow out their candles, take their seats, and the festivities continue.