Catholic Weddings

lighting of the unity candle

At our church, the lady in charge of wedding preparation mentioned that the symbol of lighting the unity candle was permitted.   I hadn't attended a mass that included this tradition. Has anyone seen this in a catholic mass?  If so, at what point does it take place?
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Re: lighting of the unity candle

  • edited December 2011
    I think when it is allowed, it is most often done at the very end, just before the final blessing but that is something that is really parish-specific. Meaning you need to ask the wedding contact at your parish. If you don't want it, though, you don't have to do it.

    Lots of us here are not big fans of the unity candle. It is a non-Catholic tradition that has seeped into our culture and wormed in on some brides/parishes. The wedding unifies you. The rings are blessed as a sign of this union. If you have a mass, you then share in the ultimate unifying act: sharing the Lord's Supper and being united together to Him as the Body of Christ.

    For me, it was allowed by my parish and maybe allowed by our priest. However, I felt like with long readings, long musical selections, the Eucharist, and a presentation to Mary, there was already a long ceremony with lots of actual religious meaning. The candle would be another song for people to sit through, especially my non-Catholic guests who sat through a lot (but still complemented the ceremony when all was said and done).
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  • edited December 2011
    Ditto pp.

    We were not permitted to have the unity candle. I have only been to one Catholic wedding that has had one. It is not considered a part of the Catholic wedding ceremony/liturgy.
  • pattyb105pattyb105 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    In our local parish, the unity candle has become a tradition for couples. Many of our parents had unity candles and many families passed the tradition to their children. I find it rather symbolic of "two becoming one"

    We are including it in our ceremony because we both understand the significance of the ceremony. The unity candle is one way showing our guests that we are a new family unit and couple.

    However, including a unity candle is a personal decision. And its inclusion in the ceremony likely varies from parish to parish. 
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    The last wedding where I saw it done it was after everyone was seated and before the ceremony or mass began.  The mothers did the candle lghting.

    I forget the one before that, perhaps it was different,  I never paid that much attention to that part of the wedding.
  • edited December 2011
    I have been to several Catholic weddings that had them. I asked our priest if the Church where we are getting married has a stand. he said no and explained that the unity candle is not part of the Catholic ceremony and that it's really just a redundent symbol. He said it was fine if we wanted to do it. I opted not to since there wasn't a stand and i hadn't seen any candles i loved.
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  • JEPearsonJEPearson member
    edited December 2011
    I don't think I've ever been to a Catholic wedding ceremony where a unity candle hasn't been lit. We light ours after the Gospel Acclamation. I guess it really just has to do w/ your preference, parish, and priest.
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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="">Re: lighting of the unity candle</a>:
    [QUOTE]I don't think I've ever been to a Catholic wedding ceremony where a unity candle hasn't been lit. We light ours after the Gospel Acclamation. I guess it really just has to do w/ your preference, parish, and priest.
    Posted by JEPearson[/QUOTE]

    Are you sure that's right? I'm not trying to pick on you or your parish or your priest, but theologically, that doesn't seem like a good place for it. You acclaim the glory of the Gospel, hear it proclaimed, and then hear a reflection on it (the homily). Putting it there seems to totally disrupt the flow of something that doesn't have wiggle room. You are hearing the Word of God, pausing for a non-Catholic symbol and returning to the Word of God. It just doesn't seem right.
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  • HandBananaHandBanana member
    Seventh Anniversary 500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I've seen it done before but one was a Catholic wedding that wasn't a full mass.  The other wasn't a Catholic wedding.

    For the Catholic wedding that wasn't a full mass they just had the mothers light the candle before the ceremony began.  For the non Catholic wedding they did it right after their vows.
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  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I've played over 160 weddings. The only time I've ever seen a unity candle done is after the vows/rings.
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