Post # 1
My Fiance and I are getting married in our local Catholic church. I converted so we could (I was Lutheran) but we have chosen to NOT have full Mass. My family and a lot of our friends are not Catholic, and we felt that would be fair. The priest agreed.
One thing the Priest has been very adamant about however is that we can NOT have a Unity Candle. He says its a “Hallmark thing” that takes away from the Sacrament of Marriage. I’m totally fine with it – one less thing we have to buy LOL. But just wondering if anyone has run into this? All of my non-Catholic friends seem shocked and act like it’s something we are missing out on.
Post # 3
I’m not planning on doing one, I don’t want any extra things at the ceremony. Unity candle, wine box, etc.
Post # 4
Most Catholic churches don’t allow unity candles or sand ceremonies. the unity candles are not religious and the Catholic Church and or priest consider these Pagan rituals.
Post # 5
It depends on the parish/diocese, but yeah, in a lot of places they are discouraged or prohibited in Catholic churches.
They are a “tradition” that got started on a soap opera a few decades ago, and the Church’s objection is that, as a “symbolic act of unity,” it’s redundant and confusing: the vows and exchange of rings are already symbolic of unity, and the primary candle used in Catholic liturgy is the Easter candle, which represents the Light of Christ. So having another candle that receives more attention during a wedding liturgy is seen as inappropriate because it muddies the symbolism and the appropriate emphasis.
Some parishes do still allow them, and I’ve seen it done really well, actually, when the couple lit the Unity candle using their actual baptismal candles (which they lit from the Easter candle). Still, it’s not part of the rubrics, and so a lot of Catholic churches discourage or disallow it.
Post # 6
I’ve run into this too. I’m getting married in a Catholic church and my priest said no unity candles, sand ceremonies, or anything else like that and it is not appropriate for a Catholic ceremony. It’s not a big deal to us since we didn’t want to do any of the stuff anyway, but I just wanted to say that it is not uncommon for Catholic churches to prohibit those things.
Post # 7
I have been reading many different catholic church’s rules as I was trying to find the perfect church! I always like unity candles, and luckily, the church I found had a statement like “Must bring own unity candle”. So I’m pretty sure that means they allow them. (Also, I was Lutheran too! Yay for Lutheran’s converting to Catholicism for thier FI! It’s fun to see what Catholics believe about Lutharanism) 🙂
Post # 8
My parish allows it but I’m not doing it. I think they are kind of cheesy (this is my opinion only)
Post # 9
I actually was the one to ask our priest if we had to do it, because we didn’t want to pay for it (haha!). Our priest said the same thing…no unity candle because it’s more of a commercial thing to get you to spend money NOT a catholic thing at all (I always thought it was because I’ve seen it done at several recent Catholic ceremonies). But, my future Mother-In-Law, who is catholic was sad I think that we aren’t doing it because it takes that special part for the mom’s to go up and light the individual candles. I think she just wanted a spot to be recognized, which I do understand.
At my cousin’s catholic wedding last month, they had one though, so it just varies from priest to priest.
Our ceremony will be a full mass and is probably already going to be and hour and twenty minutes long, so I was fine not adding anything extra!
Post # 10
@Mcda04: +1! Exactly this.
Post # 11
It’s not part of the official Sacrament, so some parishes won’t include it because of the reasons above. Our church would have allowed it, but we didn’t want to do it.
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2014 - Brazil Room
My first marriage was in a Catholic church and I had to do the premarital classes, but did not have to convert at all. We did a unity candle no problem… maybe your church is just picky?
Post # 13
No extra things at the ceremony for us. We just want a simple, quick ceremony where we say our vows and such. =) I didn’t even realize how many things were incorporated into a ceremony until the Bee!
Post # 14
I’m going to say this out loud and you ladies can scream at me if you want to:
I HATE THE UNITY CANDLE WITH THE FURY OF A THOUSAND SUNS!
For a multitude of reasons, none of it has to do with the symbolism behind it, I’m not a moron, I get it..two flames into one…neat
The thing that kills me about it is this, first off – this big symbolic gesture with the little candles and all that stuff…the original flame most likely came from Uncle Bob’s bic lighter…that’s inspiring, of course we’re assuming that the little candles stay lit, AND that the big one will actually light when the time comes….I’ve never seen one of these ceremonies go down where it wasn’t so tragic that people were looking away trying not to laugh….your padre is doing you a favor on this one…getting married is unifying enough!
Post # 15
The Church does not approve of anything being added to the liturgy, no matter what the symbolism is or where the practice originated. Some traditional priests will not even allow a flower detication to the Blessed Mother during the Mass because it is not in the rite.
Post # 16
@coolbride125: This is hallmark. it actually started from a movie… like the brides who write journals bc of the vow… great idea but not part of the sacrament. You can do something at the reception if you want. My parents had a Unity candle in the 80s but his didn’t (the 70s) so for us it was a no go at either the ceremony or reception. That said we are putting our Picture with our parent’s wedding photos beside it on the main table as a centerpiece. this is our take on it but there will not be a ceremony. Get creative if you want it. Otherwise brush off the comments.