There are a variety of unity traditions that may be included in a ceremony. Some are old and some are recent, but unity traditions are growing in popularity. Below are some examples for the unity candle:
The couple each take a lit candle and simultaneously light a third larger "unity candle." They may blow out their individual lights, or leave them lit, symbolizing that they have not lost their individuality in their unity.
Variation 1: Each mother holds an unlit candle. Fathers light the mother's candles, then mother's use those candles to light bride and groom candles; followed by couple lighting the larger unity candle with their respective candles.
Variation 2: Each mother passes a lit candle to last person on each end of the wedding party, and the candle is passed ceremoniously up the line. Then the couple turns, with candles in hand, to light the unity candle with the candles they received.
Variation 3: All guests are given a candle, and the first guest's is lit. Guests pass the flame until all are lit, and then the couple together light their unity candle. This variation typically includes a proclamation that this ceremony represents the unity of friends and family supporting the couple in their marriage. Sample reading for candle ceremony: (prompt)And now, ______________ and __________, it is time to light your candles. or And now it is time for the candles of unity. (During Candle Lighting)
On this day you make a new light together, symbolizing the two becoming one. May you also continue to recognize that separateness from which your relationship has sprung. May the lights of your own special lives continue to feed the new flame of love which will fuel your future together -- through all its hopes and disappointments, its successes and failures, its pleasures and its pains, its joys and its sorrows -- a future filled with the warmth and love of the flame you share today.