I created this ritual as part of a wedding ceremony for a couple getting married on a Saturday night. The couple consisted of a Jew and a Christian. The havdalah candle resonated with both members of the couple. It worked for the Jew because the havdalah candle is a visually striking and relatively well-known Jewish ritual object and it worked for the Christian because many Christian weddings (and weddings in other religious traditions) use candles/flame. In this way the havdalah candle helped both members of the couple, as well as their extended interfaith family present as wedding guests, to feel represented in the ceremony.
In the Jewish tradition, the moment we are in now, Saturday evening, has a special ritual associated with it. The havdalah ritual marks the transition from the end of the seventh day—the Sabbath, Shabbat—to the start of the new week. It is really the perfect time for making the transition to a new chapter in life. A special candle is lit as part of the havdalah ceremony and we will now light the havdalah candle.
The havdalah candle consists of two or more wicks intertwined, so let’s take this moment to reflect on how Ploni(t)’s and Ploni(t)’s lives have intertwined to lead them to stand under the chuppah together, committing to intertwine their lives for as long as they both shall live.
Ploni(t) and Ploni(t), look at the light of the havdalah candle—as the individual candles that make up this candle share their light with each other and in so doing burn more brightly, so may you share your light, illuminating the path into your shared future, providing warmth and security to each other.
Shabbat is a day devoted to rest and delight. May you remember, Ploni(t) and Ploni(t), to rest and delight in your marriage. May you also remember to work on your marriage, so that it can grow and change as you will inevitably grow and change, too.
This candle’s flame also represents hope—hope for a good week, that moves us a bit closer to our best selves and our repaired world. So may you, Ploni(t) and Ploni(t), always find life-giving hope in the beautiful, courageous commitment you’re entering into today—hope that it will help you grow into your best selves and add goodness to the world, hope that you will be able to overcome any challenges that lie ahead.
(place candle in a large glass cup and allow it to continue burning)
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