When John proposed to Susan, he also talked to her children about becoming their father and being a new family. Zoe and Lindsey were thrilled to have a father, their father had died just after Lindsey’s birth. So when I met with John and Susan as their wedding officiant, they wanted some part of the ceremony to honor the new family they were creating by including the children too. We decided to use the Blended Family Unity Candle ritual. As the children were eleven and eight, they were old enough to participate in the planning. The following is what we all came up with:
1. Choosing the Elements: John and Susan wanted a central candle that had all of their names on it. Zoe and Lindsey wanted to have their own taper candles. And I wanted some way to light the candles that was easy ie. not matches. They choose a central engraved pillar candle with 4 taper candles and holders. I choose a fireplace lighter that was easily ignited.
2. Deciding What To Say: Now that we had the elements, we worked on what they wanted to actually say. Susan wanted to say something to John about accepting him into the family she and the children had and thereby creating something new. John wanted to talk about how blessed he felt in having a partner but also in being able to be a father at this stage of his life. Zoe and Lindsey wanted to say something about having a father and new family. This is what they came up with:
Not only is this the joining together of you as a couple, it is also the creation of a new family-For you Susan, Zoe and Lindsey are the dearest treasures of your heart-and you could never give yourself to a man unless he recognized and honored them in that way. John you are that man-your greatest joy is to have Zoe and Lindsey on each knee laughing and loving them as a true father would. And for Zoe and Lindsey, this is your time as well to welcome John into your hearts and lives as family– to laugh with him, share with him and depend on him as your true parent. I am going to light the Family Unity Candle to represent the light of love that is at the heart of this new family. Each of you take a taper and light your candle from the central one representing your commitment to keep the love you feel for each other as foremost during good times and difficult ones.
3. Deciding When to Do the Blended Family Ritual: The Unity Candle Ceremony can be done either before the wedding vows or after. John and Susan decided that they wanted the ritual after they took their vows as a couple.
The wedding was held outdoors, and as the winds did not come up that day, the candles were easily lit and stayed that way for the remainder of the ceremony–a testimony to love and joy. For many of guests there, this ritual was the highlight of the day. And for Zoe and Lindsey, this was the beginning of a wonderful adventure.
Source by Kathleen Ball