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Unity Ceremony Ideas

A unity ceremony is a step usually included in the wedding ceremony itself and serves to symbolize the joining together of lives, families, and communities. The beautiful thing about the variations into unity ceremonies ideas is that it showcases different couple’s unique background, beliefs, and especially their creativity. So, in today’s post, I’ve decided to share some of the most popular and traditional ones out there but also some of my favorites.

Jumping the broom

This is an African American phrase and custom for marriage used by enslaved African Americans who weren’t allowed to formally marry, so to formalize their union, the tradition was to lay a broom on the ground and jump over it together[1].

But did you know that this heritage and history actually originated from the Asante of Ashanti Confederacy in the West African country of Ghana around the 18th century.

Yes! So, check this out, brooms were actually waved over the heads of marrying couples to ward off spirits. The couple would often but not always jump over the broom at the end of the ceremony.[2] To the Asante, jumping over the broom actually symbolized the wife’s commitment or willingness to clean the courtyard of the new home she had joined, it expressed her overall commitment to the house. It also represented the determination of who ran the household. Whoever jumped highest over the broom was the decision-maker of the household (usually the man). It’s worth noting that jumping of the broom does not add up to taking a “leap of faith.” Jumping the Broom did survive in the Americas, especially in the United States, among slaves brought from the Asante area.[3]

Lighting of Candle/ Joining the flame

This Judeo-Christian tradition is probably the most well-known wedding ritual that symbolizes unity[4]. It is a more recent tradition that the previous one about half a century old). In this ceremony, the parents in both families (usually the mothers) light up the taper candles before they sit down, leaving the pillar candle unlit for the duration of the ceremony. After they have exchanged the vows, the couple then lights up the pillar candle by combining the flames from the taper candles previously lit by the parents.

With variations on the tradition spanning countless cultures, the candle lighting ceremony is used to represent the joining of two families and communities into one.

You can also get the guests involved or have a smaller crowd (like your wedding party) hold a candle and wax catcher then pass the flame lit by the parents all the way to the bride and groom who will then light the pillar candle on the altar. For this to work nicely, the parents should way to light their candles after the couple has exchanged their vows. Another variation consisting of displaying candles in the ceremony entrance and inviting friends and family to light one and say a blessing as they enter[5]. This ceremony signifies several generations of commitment.

Create a reaction

Do you and your spouse have scientific backgrounds? If so, then why not celebrate your union by creating a safe chemical reaction during your vows. Keep an element of surprise for your guests by not telling them what will happen when the two liquids are mixed together. Here’s what the pastor explained at Cindy and Eric’s wedding: … the flask of sodium phosphate represents the bride’s life up to this moment, separate and distinct from the groom’s and the flask of copper sulfate represents the groom’s life up to this moment, also separate and distinct from the bride’s. Marriage is the joining of two lives into one. This is what God meant when He said: “On this account, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh.” … As you pour these solutions together, they will form an insoluble copper phosphate suspension. This is an irreversible precipitation reaction, and as such represents the union of your lives, surrounded by God’s love.”

[1] Martha Stewart Weddings [2] African American Registry® (the Registry )[3] African American Registry® (the Registry) [4] Martha Stewart Weddings [5] Martha Stewart Weddings

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