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Symbolism in ceremonies

 

Symbolism has been used in ceremonies for centuries, they can be used to mark the beginning of a life, a wedding and even a divorce, there are many different ways in which to symbolise your ceremony, for some people it offers a visual outlook on the journey they are about to embark on, here are some examples.


Wedding symbolism:

Jumping the broom

This is where the couple jump over a traditional but decorated broom, it can symbolise the sweeping away of their old single life and entry into a new married life, it dates back to  the 1600s. Within the Afro American slavery community, slaves they were not permitted to marry so the couples jumped the broom to unite each other ceremonially. 


Unity candles

The Unity candle ceremony is the most common ritual performed at weddings, it includes two thin tapered candles and one larger candle, the two thinner candles represent the couple as single people, and the larger candle represents the unity of the couple.


The sand ceremony
The sand ceremony is a beautiful visual ceremony of a couple joining together in marriage, it comprises of 2 small vessels and a larger normally heart vessel which can be engraved. The couple pour two different coloured sands in the heart vessel forming layers of the different coloured sands, symbolising the fact that once joined together you can no longer separate them into their original individual colours.



The rose ceremony
The rose ceremony is perhaps the most romantic of the symbolism ceremonies, roses have been a symbol of love for centuries, the giving of a single steamed rose is the clearest way to say to someone “I Love You”.
The couple exchange a single rose, as an outward declaration of their love for one another, and it is also the first gift they give to each other as man and wife.



The hand fasting ceremony
The hand fasting ceremony is way of physically joining the hands of the couple together, some clergymen drape their stole over the couples hands. This ceremony actually binds the hands together using ribbon (often to match the wedding colour scheme) or a soft chord which is tied in a knot which can be kept by the couple - a truly symbolic joining of two people.

    

 Symbolism in baby naming ceremonies.

 

When people think of symbolism in baby naming ceremonies, they instantly think of water and candles as used in a traditional Christening or Baptism.

Here are a few examples of symbolism in formal baby naming ceremonies, I have also shown examples of how water and candles can be used with no religious content but equally beautiful.

 Water

Water can be poured on to the babies feet rather than the head symbolising the walk of life that your baby is about to embark upon. The pouring of the water could indicate that you would like your child to live a clean life, a circle could be drawn on the water by the godparents/ mentors or guardians maybe even grandparents to show a circle of life and the connection to the people attending the ceremony.

 

Candles

Candles are an excellent way to visualise any ceremony.

The candles in a naming ceremony can be lit by all members of the family illustrating the bond and unity they have with the baby, also a circle of candles around one large candle can show the protection you give to your child.

Candles can also be lit by existing siblings ( with the help of an adult and under supervision), as a way of welcoming their new brother or sister.

Flower Petals

Flower petals can be used in the path of your baby to symbolise the sweetening of life for him or her in much the way that a flower girl scatters petals for a bride to walk on., so this can be used in the same context. Again many people can be involved in the scattering of petal, a sibling grandparent or guardian.

It can also be used to rub on to the babies feet  to symbolize the same sweetening of life.

Pebbles.

Pebbles, can be used as an excellent gift also, you can now buy, polished stones/pebbles for any home decoration store, you can paint encouraging words e.g Love, hope, laughter, strength and so on, it is also an excellent gift from family members and guardians to give to your baby.