The unity candle ceremony is a late 20th century American innovation. Following the exchange of vows and rings, the bride and groom light a larger, “unity,” candle with two smaller tapers, symbolizing the unity of two lives and two families.
Some trace the origin of the tradition to an early 1980s television soap opera. Whatever.
You’ll see the ceremony take place in both religious and secular ceremonies. The Catholic Church is a stickler when it comes to wedding liturgies, but most allow the unity candle ceremony. Writing in CatholicPhilly.com, Fr. Kenneth Doyle states:
“The lighting of a unity candle is not a part of the official Catholic wedding ceremony — i.e., it is not included in the Vatican-approved rite of marriage. However, I am not aware of any Vatican prohibition of this “add-on,” and most parishes allow it, should the couple desire it.”
Whether your wedding rite is secular or religious, this ceremony lends itself to a musical opportunity. In religious settings, an Ave Maria is popular.
Here is a contemporary “Ave Maria” by Beyoncé:
Here is an operatic version by the iconic Renée Fleming, sung just the way Franz Schubert wrote it:
Celine Dion popularized a beautiful song called “The Prayer,” perfect for the unity candle ceremony:
The lyrics are something of a secular hymn, and work well in either non-religious or religious ceremonies:
“I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know
Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.”
The ubiquitous Ed Sheeran wrote another hit song which lends itself to a wedding ceremony called “Perfect Ceremony.” The song is an operatic take on his song, “Perfect.” It features tender lyrics like these which go well with your unity candle ceremony:
“I found a love for me
Darling just dive right in
And follow my lead
Well I found a girl beautiful and sweet
I never knew you were the someone waiting for me
‘Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you’re holding mine.”
Take a listen:
Too many wedding venues have poor sound reinforcement. And outdoor ceremonies can be worse. That’s why you may want us to provide the clear, controlled sound you need for your ceremony. Your vows will be heard. And we can play the exact music you select for your wedding procession and unity candle ceremony.
When it’s time for your reception, DJ Brian Anderson offers the legendary mix of entertainment that packs dance floors all night long. Whether it’s DJ entertainment, photo booths, or decor lighting, we offer the complete entertainment package to make your celebration one for the ages.