For the longest time, couples have jumped over brooms, lit candles, walked in circles, or combined sands as wedding ceremony rituals. They use these unity ceremonies to declare their love and commitment for each other metaphorically and literally. Whether you choose to have an extravagant wedding or a minimal wedding, a unity ceremony is a great way to infuse some tradition and personality into your wedding. If you are looking to include wedding ceremony rituals in your wedding, here are some unity ceremony ideas to get your planning started. #4 is my personal favorite to see!
#1 Cord of three strands
“And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Cord of three strands is a popular wedding ceremony ritual with Biblical origin. According to Ecclesiastes 4:12, written above, one person can be overpowered, two can defend themselves, but a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. The cord of three strands symbolizes God, the groom, and the bride. During the ceremony, the bride and groom braid the cord of the three strands together. The groom is expected to hold a small metal ring with three attached strands during the ceremony, while the bride braids the strands together, which symbolizes the union of you, your partner, and God in marriage. You may have someone explain what is going on during the ceremony or simply play music or have a song sung. This ceremony is also known as God’s knot.
#2 Foot washing ceremony
Inspired by Bible verses John 13: 1-17, foot washing is a Christian wedding ceremony ritual. In this bible verse, Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, showing humility and service to his disciples. During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom follow this Biblical activity and wash each other’s feet in a bowl with a sponge and maybe soap, then dry them off with a towel. Christian couples do this because it symbolizes the couple’s service, humility, and commitment to each other.
#3 Handfasting Unity Ceremony
Handfasting is a symbolic unity ceremony that is a Celtic wedding ritual with medieval roots. It involves both couples standing face to face with their hands bound together with ribbons or cords to symbolize their union. While their hands are bound, words are required to express their commitment to each other. In the middle ages, weddings were not recognized as legal responsibilities of the church and government, so handfasting was used in place of a marriage license. You can use ribbon, lace, a family heirloom, or cords in patterns and color. Colored cords have a special significance; each color has its own meaning, such as white for purity or red for passion.
#4 Ring Prayer Ceremony
This is a ring warming ceremony where the couple’s wedding bands are passed around so each person can briefly hold the rings in their hands while also saying a short silent prayer for the couple. There are a few ways you can execute this tradition easily. First, you should assign one person to oversee the ring prayer ceremony. The person will keep the rings secure at all times, pass the rings around to each guest and return the rings back to the couple prior to saying their vows.
#5 Unity Candle Ceremony
Unity candle ceremony represents the joining of two people and their families. During the wedding ceremony, the mothers from both families will light two taper candles that represent the merging of both families and place them next to a pillar candle. When it is time for the candle-lighting ceremony, the couples will light the pillar candle from the two taper candles, which signifies the unity of both families into one.
#6 Sand Pouring Ceremony
This is one of the most popular wedding ceremony rituals today. It involves the couple pouring two separate vases of sand into the same vessel to create a layered pattern. The sands can be in different colors, making it impossible to separate the colors once they are poured into one vessel. The colored sands can be collected while on the beach together or someplace else. While the vessels can be a family heirloom or any other vessel of your choice. The main factor here is pouring the sand into a larger vessel making something new and permanent. This ceremony represents the blending of two people forever, their dreams, values, and hopes.
You can choose any of the unity ceremony ideas discussed above that represent your style, values, and personality as a couple. Whether you choose the ring prayer ceremony or the sand pouring ceremony, your wedding ceremony is bound to be beautiful and sentimental. You will remember this day and cherish it for years to come.
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