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Winter Solstice Ceremony Script With Candle Lighting

This is a great wedding ceremony script for having your wedding in the winter months. This script conjures the elements that make winter such a magical season. Invoking pagan rituals and values, this winter solstice script is perfect for couple's that want to have a deeply spiritual but non-religious wedding ceremony.

SETUP & PREPARATION

Arrange lit candles along the walls of the room or the outer edge of the ceremony space, to create a circle of light that surrounds the guests, officiant, and couple during the ceremony. For safety, or to protect the candles from wind and other elements, place them in jars or lanterns.

At the center of the ceremony space, where the couple will say their vows, prepare a table with three large candles, and many smaller candles (also in jars or lanterns), with at least one small candle per guest.

 

WINTER SOLSTICE WEDDING WITH CANDLE LIGHTING

PROCESSION

This is the beginning of the Wedding Ceremony. Guests are seated inside the circle of candles, followed by the entrance of the Bridal Party. The couple may choose to enter together, or one at a time (either walking down the aisle alone or escorted by a child, friend, mentor, or parent).

INVOCATION

The officiant welcomes the guests and introduces the couple, and explains the purpose of the gathering*. They’ll share the history and significance of the Solstice, while offering insight into the couple’s personal connection to the holiday.

*This can be changed to reflect a commitment ceremony, engagement or betrothal celebration, or vow renewal ceremony.

Officiant to the Reception

"Welcome everyone, to the wedding ceremony of [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B]. We’ve come here today to celebrate the most intimate of bonds between two people, marriage, and to light the path that they will walk together in life. You have all been invited not just as guests to this wedding, but as important witnesses to the love that [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B] share."

BLESSINGS OR WISHES FOR JOY & HEALTH

The officiant talks about the symbolism of the Solstice, gives the couple a blessing, or offers a few secular words on the importance of love and the hope for continued joy and health together. The officiant might talk about how the couple met, what their life together has been like, and what the meaning of partnership or marriage means to them. Then the officiant lights the first candle.

Officiant to the Reception

"This day/Tonight marks the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, a time of reflection, renewal, and rejoicing. Tomorrow, the sun begins its steady return, it’s warmth and light growing stronger and brighter each day, as the seasons shift through winter into spring.

All of you gathered here know best that like the sun’s light, [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B]’s love fills each day, renewed and strengthened each night by the quiet moments of reflection that life provides. Even on the darkest nights, like tonight, their light, and their love, fills the room, and is never far away.

[PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B], the Solstice holds a special place in your hearts. It is (here the officiant can talk about the special meaning of the solstice for the couple).

And so today/tonight, we wish you the fullness of life in all its seasons and moods. In times of quiet rest and times of joyful celebration, we know that you will find comfort and steady companionship in each other. In all of life’s frequent joys, during the dark of night when morning seems slow to come, and for each season, let your enduring love be a light between you, as constant as the sun.

The officiant lights one large candle to represent the light of the returning sun.

Let this light represent the sun and the light of your love, that it always be close by."

VOWS EXCHANGE AND CANDLE LIGHTING

The officiant tells the guests that the couple have written personal vows (or poetry, or music), and then turns to each partner in turn. Each partner will share what they’ve prepared and light another large candle using the flame from the first.

OFFICIANT TO THE COUPLE

" [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B] you’ve chosen to write your own vows. It’s with these words you express your binding promises to love, honor, and cherish one another. If you are ready to make these promises to each other, here in front of your beloved friends and family, I invite you now to face each other and declare your intentions."

Note: Some states require a Declaration of Intent to marry.

  1. Partner A Turns and recites or reads their vows, prepared reading, or song.
  2. Then, Partner A will turn to the table of candles, and light the second large candle, using the flame of the first.

partner a to partner b

"I light this candle to represent the return of the sun, the everpresent light of our love, and the joy and promise of each new season together."

  1. Partner B Turns and recites or reads their vows, prepared reading, or song.
  2. Then, they will turn to the table of candles, and light the third large candle, using the flame of the first.

partner B to partner A

"I light this candle to represent the return of the sun, the everpresent light of our love, and the joy and promise of each new season."

RING EXCHANGE

The officiant lets the guests know that the couple will exchange rings as a physical symbol of their unity. They will ask each partner in turn to place a ring on the other’s hand, which they do.

Officiant to the Reception

"[PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B] will exchange rings as a symbol of their love and loyalty to each other. Do you have the rings?"

Officiant to Partner a

"[PARTNER A] please place the ring on [PARTNER B] 's left hand and repeat after me: With this ring I join my life to yours, in times of darkness and light, bound in love." 

  • Partner A places the ring and repeats the promise.

Officiant to Partner b

" [PARTNER B] please place the ring on [PARTNER A] 's left hand and repeat after me: With this ring I join my life to yours, in times of darkness and light, bound in love. "

  • Partner B places the ring and repeats the promise.

BLESSINGS FROM THE GUESTS

The officiant now gives the guests an opportunity to stand and light one of the candles on the table, using the first large candle (representing the sun) as a source of fire.

Officiant to the Reception

"We invite each of you to contribute to this beautiful union now! If you wish, please step up one at a time to light a candle from the center, knowing that each of these smaller lights is seen and felt, is essential, and contributes to the brightness of the whole.

Let these small blessings, one by one, remind the couple of their place within a larger community, of the support and love of the group they’ve created around themselves, and of the strength that each individual takes from the other. In marriage, you will forever have companionship to light the way along life’s path."

PRONOUNCEMENT

Officiant to the Couple and Reception

"And now [PARTNER A] and [PARTNER B] , in the glow of your community’s love, your devotion, and the promise of new seasons, I pronounce you bound in love! (Married, united, etc.) You may kiss!"

RECESSION

  1. The officiant announces that the ceremony is over.
  2. They invite the guests to join in any activities following the ceremony, and wish them a day of merriment as they exit.


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