As centuries have passed, great changes have come in the way people live, dress up, eat and conduct themselves. The same holds true in case of weddings also! The way a wedding is conducted and the ceremonies that form its part have undergone sea change. You must have heard of the uniting candle ceremony, as a part of weddings, in which the groom and bride together light a candle, from the flames of their individual candles, as a symbol of their union. Now, a variation of this ceremony has come up, known as unity sand ceremony.
Unity Sand Ceremony
Unity sand ceremony or wedding sand ceremony lasts hardly 3-4 minutes and just like the candle ceremony, describes meaningful joining of two lives. It involves two containers of sand, usually of different colors, one representing the life of the bride and the other representing the life of the groom. Both bride and groom hold their respective containers and together, pour the sand into a third container, which they later use as a keepsake. As their pour their respective sands into a single container, it symbolizes their becoming 'one'.
Though there is dispute regarding the origin of sand ceremony, with some claiming Native Americans and some believing Hawaiians to be behind it, the ceremony is becoming a trend throughout United States. The flowing together of different sands and their successive blending is supposed to symbolize the bringing together of two lives as one. In some of the cases, the bride and groom might leave a small amount of sand in their respective container. This means that though they are now one, they retain their individuality.
Samples of Sand Ceremony Wording
While the couple pours sand into the third container, the priest or friends or family members can say the following vows:
"Today, this relationship is symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand one, representing you BRIDE and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be, and the other representing you, GROOM, and all that you were and all that you are, and all that you will ever be. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be."
"BRIDE and GROOM, today you join your separate lives together. The two separate bottles of sand symbolize your separate lives, separate families and separate sets of friends. They represent all that you are and all that you'll ever be as an individual. They also represent your lives before today. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined together as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be."
"Today, BRIDE and GROOM, have chosen to commemorate their marriage through the celebration of the Sand Ceremony. This ceremony symbolizes the inseparable union of BRIDE and GROOM into a new and eternal marital relationship. Bride and Groom will simultaneously pour separate containers of sand into a common vessel. Each grain of sand in their separate containers represents a unique and separate moment, decision, feeling or event that helped shaped Bride and Groom into the separate and unique individuals that they are today. As they pour their separate containers of sand into a common vessel, those separate and independent individuals will cease to exist. Instead they will merge into a loving and supportive marital community. BRIDE and GROOM, just as the grains of sand can never be separated into their individual containers again, so will your marriage be."
"Please note this empty glass. Glass, itself, is made from sand and the sands of time have come together, melting into one piece to make this vessel. The sands of time should remind us all of our eternal love and our mortality. Today BRIDE and GROOM have chosen to represent their love to each other in a special sand ceremony. Please BRIDE and GROOM, take your separate glass of sand and alternate the pouring of sand into this joining vessel and united, repeat after me: You are my love for eternity. I blend with you. My heart is like these grains of sands, merging with yours. I am yours. You are mine. We are together forever like the sand, like the wind. We are one."