Candles in Ceremony

Candles shed light. Candles have been used to light the dark by mankind for centuries. And this parallels the symbolic lighting of a candle in a ritual or ceremony. Candles flickering on a birthday cake or on a dinner table. The flickering flame of a candle immediately gathers your focus, particularly at the point of lighting it and letting the flame settle. The act of lighting a candle in a ceremony is symbolic and gathers the focus of everyone watching. 

Here's how we use them in ceremony.

The Unity Candle ritual in a marriage ceremony – two candles are lit near the beginning of the service representing the couple’s families – the couple then take the flame of their family candles and together light their Unity Candle just before the pronouncement, thus fusing the two families together.

The Three Candle ritual in a funeral – early in the service the eldest generation representing the family of the deceased lights a candle to honour Generations Past. The youngest generation represented then lights a candle to honour Generations Present and Future. The closest family member, spouse or partner to the deceased then lights the biggest candle to symbolize the enduring spirit of their loved one. Closing the ceremony, the celebrant extinguishes in order giving thanks to Generations Past, Present and Future, then lastly the candle symbolising the spirit of the deceased giving thanks for their life.

Tea Light Idea. Guests attending a wedding, a funeral, a naming ceremony, an anniversary or vow renewal, can each light a Tea Light on entry to the ceremony (best indoors). All of these occasions would require a safe place set up on which the Tea Lights are set. It may be on trays of sand on a table(s), on the top of wine barrels or similar. 

And there is a holiness in lit candles in a church, synagogue, cathedral or basilica, a temple, monastery or mosque.

Candles transcend all faiths and secular beliefs.

Candles are associated with romance, however, there is a proverb that says: Choose neither wife nor linen by candlelight. 

There is softness and warmth from a flickering candle that is comforting, sacred and universal.