The Honey Ceremony

Officiant: Honey is a symbol of the sweetness in life. And so, with this dish of honey, we proclaim this day as a day of great joy and celebration. A sweet day to remember.

Groom dips his pinky finger into the honey and touches the bride's tongue.
Bride dips her pinky finger into the honey and touches the grooms tongue.


Officiant: As together you now share this honey, so may you now share perfect love and devotion to each other, share your lives together, and thereby may you find life's joys doubly gladdened, its bitterness sweetened, and all things hallowed by time, companionship and love.

The Rose Ceremony

Option Number: 1: **This Rose Gift is usually placed near the beginning of the ceremony, just after the officiant's welcoming statements and introduction to the ceremony.

Officiant: This wedding is also a celebration of family. It is the blending of two families, separate up to this moment, but united from this day forward -- blending their different traditions, strengthening the family tree. Parents plant so that their children may harvest. Mothers cry when their children hurt, and welcome pain and burden to give their sons and
daughters the gift of life.

(Bride) and (Groom) wish to honor this blending of the families by presenting a rose to their mothers -- to thank their parents for the many selfless sacrifices they have made and for their unconditional love so freely given to their children.

Bride & Groom exchange hugs with her parents and present a rose to her mother.
Bride & Groom exchange hugs with his parents and present a rose to his mother.


Option Number: 2: **This Rose Ceremony is usually placed near the end of the ceremony, just before you are pronounced husband and wife.

Officiant: In the elegant language of flowers, red roses are a symbol of love, and the giving of a single red rose is a clear and unmistakable way of saying the words "I love you." For this reason it is fitting that the first gift you exchange as husband and wife be the gift of a single red rose.

Groom takes one of the roses and presents it to the Bride, saying: (Bride), take this rose as a symbol of my love. It began as a tiny bud and blossomed, just as my love has blossomed and grown for you.

Bride takes the other rose and presents it to the Groom, saying: (Groom), take this rose as a symbol of my love. It began as a tiny bud and blossomed, just as my love has blossomed and grown for you.

Unity Candle Ceremony

Couples use two lit taper candles (symbolizing their individuality) to light one big candle as a symbol of their two lives becoming one in commitment. Most Unity Candles were used in Protestant churches or in wedding ceremonies not conducted in church. Although more accepting of it today, many Catholic or Jewish ceremonies ask that couples not include the candle in the ceremony, since the Unity Candle is not a part of the traditional wedding liturgy.

Often during the processional, the mothers of the bride and groom light a taper candle in honor of their son or daughter at the altar or a small table at the front of the church. They return to their seats, and the tapers remain lit throughout the ceremony. After the vows and rings have been exchanged, the Officiant will explain to the guests the symbolism of the Unity Candle. He asks the bride and the groom to take their "individual" lives (the individual taper candles) and bring them both to the large center candle, lighting one flame with their two individual flames. During the lighting of the Unity Candle, many times couple will have a song sung or played, or the minister will recite an appropriate poem to accompany the symbolism of the ceremony.

Whether or not to extinguish the individual tapers after the lighting of the Unity Candle is up to the couple. Many couples believe that putting out individual flames appears as if their individual lives have been snuffed out for the benefit of the marriage, while some believe extinguishing individual candles only shows their devotion to the commitment they've just made. According to most ministers, the decision is left entirely up to the couple.

Where you place the Unity Candle ceremony within the wedding ceremony is up to you although most couples wait until after they've said their vows and exchanged rings to light the candle. However, some like the use of a unity candle as a beginning for a wedding ceremony as it symbolically shows the couple as coming together. It is not particularly religious as fire is a universal element.


UNITY CANDLE READINGS

Option Number: 1: (The following poem by Harold Douglas is frequently recited by the Officiant while the bride and groom light the Unity Candle)

Soft mists embrace two golden flames,
Alone they search the night.
Two souls adrift in dreams of love,
They seek to claim the light.
The path is long from which they came,
But sure they are its right.
Two flames embrace in dreams of love,
Two Souls - Two Hearts Unite.

Option Number: 2:


Officiant: (Groom) and (Bride) will light the unity candle, as a symbol of their marriage. The candles from which they light it, represent each of them in the fullness of their individuality. They come as individuals and do not lose their identity, rather they create through their commitment the relationship of marriage. Therefore, three candles remain lit. One for each of them and one for their marriage, as symbols of their commitment to each other and to a lasting and loving marriage.

Option Number: 3:


Officiant: From every human being there raises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls are destined for each other and find each other, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being. (by Baal Shem Tov)

Option Number: 4:


Officiant: This candle you are about to light is a candle of Marriage. Its fire is magical because it represents the light of two people in love. This candle before you is a candle of Commitment because it takes two people working together to keep it aflame. This candle is also a candle of Unity because both must come together, giving a spark of themselves, to create the new light. As you light this candle today, may the brightness of the flame shine throughout your lives. May it give you courage and reassurance in darkness, warmth and safety in the cold, and strength and joy in your bodies, minds, and spirits. May your union be forever blessed. (by Reverend Amy Long)

Option Number: 5: The Family Candle Ceremony


Officiant: This marriage is not just the joining of (Groom) and (Bride), it is also the joining of [children's names], those family members present and those who are present today only in our memories.

This candle before us symbolizes the joining of Groom and Bride's past and of the new family they have formed here today. It should also serve as a reminder to them of their faith in God who enriches their marriage and their
family in every way. Just as your love for one another, the flames that light the individual candles will burn brighter when joined together. Extinguish the two and be forever united in God's love.

There is an additional smaller candle for each child. The Groom and Bride light these candles, and then all together light the center Unity Candle.

The lighting of the center candle represents not only the union of (Groom) and (Bride) in marriage, but the unity formed in this new family in which your lives will now shine as one family.

Wine Ceremony

Officiant: The years of our lives are as a cup of wine, poured out for us to drink. As grapes when they are pressed give forth their juices for the wine, so under the wine press of time, our lives give forth their labor, their honor, their love.

Groom and Bride, often in the days to come you will sit at the same table and break bread together. Drink now, and may the cup of your lives be sweet and full to running over.

As you have shared from this one cup of wine, so may you draw contentment, comfort, and delight from the cup of life. May you find life's joys heightened, its bitterness sweetened, and all things hallowed, by your companionship and love.