(Closed) Unity Candle

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I think it’s a church by church situation. We’re having a unity candle, and it’s actually written into the program saying we can “opt to not include”. Also, I’ve never heard of a church having a bride and groom walk up together – my dad will be walking me down the aisle.

Post # 4
Member
143 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

The unity candle has only been around for 20 to 30 years, and it’s not an official part of the Rite of Marriage.  But, most churches don’t have a problem with it. It’s certainly not a bad thing, it’s just an unncessary part of the ceremony, perhaps.  But if it has meaning to you, you’re certainly not doing anything wrong by having it!! 

Post # 5
Member
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Our church is actually encouraging us to have a unity candle.

Post # 6
Member
13 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Most churches would probably allow it, but you should ask to make sure. I’m not doing it but I know someone who did incorporate it into her wedding mass. As for the bride walking down the aisle with the groom, I haven’t seen that before. For the most part I think you could do whatever variation you want, bride alone, bride accompanied by parents, bride and father etc. But again, just make sure with your parish.

Post # 7
Member
1160 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

My church sounds like that–unity candle discouraged. They suggested doing the unity candle at the beginning of the reception. I’m not doing a candle but if your church is like mine, then doing that might work. But it’s definitely not banned across the board.

I recently read that about the processional too. I don’t think they mean that bride and groom *have* to walk up together–I think the idea is to show that the bride and groom are entering as equal partners into the sacrament of marriage. The way I read it was that having the groom & party walk in just before the bride & party (or having his parents walk him down, or some other variation) is preferable to him just standing there waiting for her. But I think that is more of a suggestion and whatever you want to do is fine!

Post # 8
Member
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I’ve always heard that the catholic church ENCOURAGES the unity candle. But i guess every church is different. We’re having one and my dad is walking me down the aisle. Whatever you choose just approve it with the preist and I’m sure it’ll be fine!

Post # 9
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

Unity candles are not discouraged, but they’re not part of the actual Rite of Marriage, so they’re also not encouraged.  Of course, a particular priest can encourage or discourage something on his own opinion (but that wouldn’t be a Church opinion). I could see a case where the priest might be a little more anti-Unity Candle during a Nuptial Mass.

 

“I also read that the “approved” processional is the bride and groom walking up the aisle together.  Any priest insisting on this?”

 

No.  In a Rite of Marriage, the priest, groom, and best man come in from a side door and the rest of the group processes like normal (grandmothers, mothers, bridesmaids + groomsmen, flowergirls, bride + father).

 

In a Nuptial Mass, the priest, groom, and bestman must process down the aisle at the start, but then the regular procession follows.

 

The only times I’ve seen the bride and groom process together is when a wedding is held during a normal Sunday Mass.  So the congregation is there for Mass like normal, Mass is held like on every Sunday, but the  homily is cut short and a marriage takes place, then back to a normal Mass.  In that case, the bride and groom process together behind the priest to prevent slowing down the Mass.  Also, in those types of weddings, there are no groomsmen or bridesmaids. 

 

 

Post # 10
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

If we go the Catholic ceremony route we cannot do a unity candle. We were told it is seen as faulty symbolism and therefore discouraged, or in our case not allowed.

Post # 11
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@MrsPinkPeony:

Who  told you that? Either you’ve got a priest or a wedding guild lady that doesn’t like unity candles.  I’ve seen weddings presided over by bishops that have had unity candles. 

 

A priest can reject a unity candle on his own because he does not like it.  That doesn’t mean that it’s not allowed, just that he doesn’t like it.  The same thing could happen in any church (Catholic or not).

Post # 12
Member
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

@CoffeeHound:Agree! I think I’ve only seen one Catholic wedding without a unity candle. Pretty sure its the preists own opinion which I think is sorta wrong in a way. I think you should be able to do whatever you like, not have the preists TELL you what he WANTS you to do.

Post # 13
Member
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Our deacon said the unity candle is a recent trend.  Not necessary, but a nice symbol of the merge of two families forming a new one, so he’d like us to consider doing it.

Post # 14
Member
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@JessicaL: I think some people get carried with “it’s my day, I’ll do what I want!”  A marriage involves the bride, the groom, and God.  So we should be reverent to God.  The pastor of a parish has certain rights associated with his position, and one would include determining if a unity candle can be used.  If you don’t like it, you can go to another parish or petition the bishop to overrule the parish priest.

Post # 15
Member
1250 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We had no problem doing the Unity candle, and were not pressured to do any specific type of processional – we were just informed of the different options. We ended up having my groom walk down the aisle first, starting off the processional (he actually escorted my mom), and I came down last with my father.

Like many have said, this seems to be a church-by-church issue – my priest was pretty laid back, but others may not be that way.

Post # 16
Member
41 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I have only one piece of advice on this one, I attended a wedding on Friday and they had a candle to light, in memory of those absent and deceased…  except the candle wouldn’t light!  They had to try like three times, with the tapered candle first and then just with the lighter, but the wick was too short and stuck in the wax at the bottom – so they finally just had to give up and say, “There is a tiiiny flicker there, I am sure of it.” so we could proceed with things.  So, make sure you have the church attendants test it ahead of time, like maybe the day before!

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