Post # 1
Hi ladies, recently over the Xmas holidays I met with the Deacon who manages all weddings at the church where my ceremony will take place. While discussing the details, he informed me the ceremony won’t include the lighting of a unity candle. Their church doesn’t do it. Instead they will invite the mothers of the bride and groom to light two pillar candles located on either side of the my fiance and I’s kneeler.
I was a bit confused when I heard this as I have never seen a Catholic wedding that didn’t include the lighting of the unity candle. Has anyone?
Also, he also informed me that the wedding ceremony, including mass, has to be exactly one hour. Between the readings, the psalms and songs, the gospel, the mass, the vows, is this even possible?
I’m a bit worried. Any opinions?
Post # 3
Most Catholic weddings I have been too were right about an hour with mass, so that seems about right. The Unity Candle, their version is something I have never seen before. If there is a concern about it, I would talk it over with your Priest, he has the power to make the changes is there is any wiggle room there.
Post # 4
our church also said that the catholic church doesn’t do traditional “unity candles,” but that there can be a “candle ceremony” that is basically a modified version… sounds like your church does a modified modified version… haha… i agree to ask your priest if you have a concern… we opted to not do it at all in our catholic wedding.
Post # 5
“Unity Candles” are too pagan for most Catholic Churches. Same with sand ceremonies, etc. anything that uses two “things” becoming one as a representation of your love is sacrilege.
And hour mass is right.
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2012 - Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
I did a blog post about symbolism in ceremonies and did some reading about unity candles. I thought they were Catholic, but I found an articlewritten by a priest that said that they should not be used in church at all. He wrote that flames in church are symbolic of the holy spirit. Having candles that represent people is contradictory.
I didn’t want a unity candle in the first place, but I thought the article was interesting.
I wish I saved the link so I could share.
Mass is almost always an hour…unless you don’t ave music. Did you expect your mass o be shorter? Some people don’t have mass, though.
Post # 7
Thanks ladies for the responses. I definitely feel a lot better. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of not having a unity candle. I was just worried about offending some older conservative members of my family if it was expected. Also, after sitting through my sister’s three hour wedding ceremony this past June, an hour mass sounds great. =)
Post # 8
Three hours?!?!? WOW. Your guests will be glad yours is limited to 1! We had a unity candle of sorts at ours… our moms each lit one taper candle when they walked in at the beginning, and then later in the ceremony we used the two tapers to light the big center candle. The priest did say a little something before we did it… something like “MyName and HusbandsName will now light a unity candle as a symbol of the unified nature of themselves as a married couple, their families, and the Holy Spirit.” He also asked our guests to take that time to pray for our marriage and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as a couple.
I guess maybe that’s a way to get around the Holy Spirit thing that @mink mentioned? I thought it was really special, spiritual, and liturgically appropriate.
Post # 9
My sister’s full mass Catholic wedding at a California Mission was exactly an hour, and it included some extra Mexican traditions like the gold coins, the lasso and had some of the ceremony in Spanish. Their were also a lot of us in the wedding party, a full choir, and a large guest count. I was surprised it was only an hour, but grateful!! as I’m sure the guests were, too!! They also did not have a unity candle, because the mission said it’s not a Catholic tradition.
Post # 10
During our meeting with the priest, we were told that the unity candle was NOT part of the Catholic ceremony but if we really wanted it, we could talk about the possibility of having it. However, neither me nor my partner have ever even heard of a unity candle prior to that meeting. Of course, now I’m seeing lots about it on the internet while I’m planning. We’re sort of considering it, but I’m a little concerned about wearing a special dress and holding an open flame. We probably won’t do it at all.
Post # 11
Both sides of my family are Catholic and I haven’t ever seen one without a unity candle.Could you do a unity candle lighting at the reception instead of the ceremony?
Post # 12
Our church doesn’t permit unity candles as the whole Mass is a symbol of unity. (That’s the excuse they give… I was really happy because I don’t particularly like them!)