COUPLE'S SAND CEREMONY
(Bride and Groom), you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings. Today this relationship is further symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. One, representing you, (Bride), and all you were, all you are and all you will ever be. The other, representing you, (Groom), and all you were, all you are and all you will ever be. I now invite you to pour your two containers of sand into the third container, were they shall be joined together as one. As the sand is blends, it flows together in a lovely pattern allowing us to see the individual colors while appreciating the creation of something new and beautiful—just as you encourage and support one another’s individuality in the context of a strong union. Our prayer for you today is that your lives together be longer than the time it would take to separate the individual grains of sand.
I especially like that this ritual is easily adapted to include children when the wedding ceremony results in the blending of families as well as a marriage. All you need to do is add more vases and more sand. Children love this ritual because they actually get to do something during the ceremony, and what kid doesn't adore anything potentially messy?!
FAMILY SAND CEREMONY
At this time I would like to invite (children) to come forward. (Bride and Groom) have bound their lives together as a couple, but it is also right and fitting to celebrate and acknowledge the importance of their children as they all come together to build a family. Bill and Heather’s individual containers of sand represent the essence of all they are and the gifts they bring to this union. I invite them to now pour some of their sands into the center vase, showing that their marriage is the foundation of this family. Their sands mix together and symbolize their bond of love and respect that can never be separated.
I know invite (children) to add their sand, representing them as unique and beloved children. These swirling colors remind us we are all different people and it is our different personalities that add the beautiful color to the tapestry of the family.
(Bride and Groom), would you now seal the union with the remainder of your sand surrounding (children) in an environment of unconditional love? May this family remain, not dependent upon one another, but interdependent and as colorful as the sands that fill this vessel.
I recommend the ritual for children over the age of four, but I have seen parents assist children who are younger. Keep in mind children probably will not fully grasp the meaning of the ritual until perhaps six to nine years old, depending upon the child. I do highly recommend trying to explain it to them regardless of age. You might be surprised how much they do understand.
It is not just for young children either. I have had plenty of couples with adult children include this ritual in their wedding ceremony. On a number of occasions, one or more children were unable to attend the wedding so we honored them by making sure they were represented by a vase of sand. A surrogate simply added the sand to the center vase on their behalf.
I will leave you with one word of caution however. This ritual is rendered meaningless if anyone is forced to participate and you really do not want a surly child ruining the experience for everyone. If your child is still struggling with the idea of mommy or daddy getting married, please be compassionate and help them adjust to the idea at their own rate.
Photo Attribute: Brian and Dominika Davis Photography