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The Meaning of Colors

Each color has many aspects; each color has a vitality, power and symbology of its own; each color heals, enlightens and inspires.

Red: Passion, courage, sexuality, intense emotions, physical strength and vigor.

Pink: Love, honor, friendship, compassion, gentle emotions and relaxation.

Orange: Energy, encouragement, stimulation and confidence.

Yellow: Intellect, confidence, charm, divinity, communication, and optimism.

Green: Prosperity (money), fertility, cooperation, healing, growth and the Earth.

Blue: Healing, peace, psychic activity, patience, happiness, the water and sky.

Purple: Power, spirituality, meditation, royalty, divinity, ambition, and progress.

White: Protection, purification, innocence, potential, spiritual strength, and faith.

Black: Banishes negativity, wisdom, the universe, fertility, and unlimited potential.

Brown: Groundedness, stability, success in business and dependability.

Silver: Light, justice, purity, moon, femininity, women's spirituality, protection, and reflection.

Gold: Spiritual rewards, God, masculinity, sun, enlightenment, a gift of the gods whether in wisdom or ability.

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The Sand Ceremony

The Sand Ceremony is a beautiful alternative to the Unity Candle, especially if the wedding is held out-of doors and the candles may not stay lit. Simply find three containers, two filled with different color sand that will represent the bride and groom, and a third in which the two colors of sand will be poured into, which represents the blending of the couple’s hearts and lives. You may wish to leave a small amount of sand in each container to symbolize that although you are now joined as one, you each remain individuals. I've adapted this ceremony to include children from previous relationships. Each child has a container of different color sand and they blend their sand with their parents to symbolize the blending of a new family.

Minister: “______ and ______, by the blending of this sand, you have indicated your desire to blend your lives together in marriage. The two individual containers of sand represented all that each of you were, all that each of you are now, and all that each of you will ever be. The blended sand represents all that your lives, as marriage partners, can and will be. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into their individual containers, so will your marriage be.”

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Unity Candle

Many couple choose to include a Unity Candle in their ceremony as a symbol of the marriage – “as two become one.” Many commercially made Unity Candles are available, but the couple can choose to use any candle they wish. Many times candles will be chosen that mirror the color scheme of the bridal party. The ceremony is usually done in two parts. At the beginning of the ceremony, after the convocation or the statement of intent, the bride and groom will light individual candles which represent themselves. After the vows, the bride and groom will take each of the individual candles and jointly light the Unity Candle as a symbol of their joining together in matrimony.

Minister: “______ and ______, by lighting these individual candles, you have signaled your intent to be wed.”

Minister: “As _____ and _____ light the Unity Candle from their individual candles, they combine their own flames into one. As each candle may light another without diminishing its own light, so may two join together without diminishing each other. Marriage is a partnership where each may give of themselves without losing that which makes each one unique.”

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Jewish Tradition of Breaking the Glass

Below is one explanation I offer of the breaking of the bottle in a wedding ceremony, which is placed immediately before declaring the couple to be husband and wife: "The breaking of the glass at the end of a wedding ceremony serves to remind of two very important aspects of a marriage.

The bride and groom - and everyone - should consider these marriage vows as an irrevocable act - just as permanent and final as the breaking of this glass is unchangeable.

But the breaking of the glass also is a warning of the frailty of a marriage. That sometimes a single thoughtless act, breech of trust, or infidelity can damage a marriage in ways that are very difficult to undo - just as it would be so difficult to undo the breaking of this glass.

Knowing that this marriage is permanent, the bride and groom should strive to show each other the love and respect befitting their spouse and love of their life."

(The bottle is usually a light bulb wrapped in a white towel. The best man will place the bottle before the groom. However, it is not broken at this point. Instead, the officiant continues to declare the bride and groom to be "husband and wife". With "congratulations, you may kiss your bride!," the groom then smashes the bottle with his foot and kisses the bride. Applauding, and cry's of "Mazel Tov!" are appropriate in most ceremonies with the breaking of the bottle.)

Jumping the Broom

Jumping the Broom is a marriage ritual found in Ancient Celtic and African-American cultures. Its use in a wedding ceremony symbolizes leaving the past and stepping into married life. The broom itself was symbolic of the beginning of the homemaking for the couple. In the African-American culture it was also symbolic of the slaves’ defiance of the law that they could not marry.

Someone in the bridal party should be designated as the person who carries the broom up the aisle. This can be an adult attendant or a child. After the bride is presented and her escort is seated, one of the attendants places the broom on the floor behind the bride and groom as they stand facing the officiant. At the end of the ceremony, the couple turns and, holding hands or holding each other around the waist, they jump the broom as they begin the recessional out of the church. Just prior to the jumping, an explanation by the minister can be presented to the guests:

“The space in which the bride and groom now stand in a sacred circumscribed place. It is symbolic of God’s encircling love, and also of the couple’s love for each other. The broom that was laid on the floor behind them at the beginning of the ceremony represents the division between the past and the future, the sacred and the mundane. In African culture, the broom itself holds spiritual significance, representing the beginning of homemaking for the couple. By using this tradition in their ceremony, the African-American couple honors and creates a bridge between them and their cultural heritage.
As the jump over the broom, leaving the sacred space, they begin their married life together in the everyday world. May they carry with them all of their hopes and possibilities of the promises here made. As they take their first steps as husband and wife, let us wish them a long and happy life together. JUMP!.