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Sand Ceremony

The sand ceremony is a unity ceremony, it expresses the coming together of two people or two families into one new family. It is a very simple idea that can be incredibly powerful. Typically, each person has different coloured sand and takes turns pouring it into one clear vessel, forming a layered effect. Sometimes just the couple participates, and sometimes the couple's children or parents join in with their own coloured sand, adding to the layers of colours, and expressing the harmony of the entire family.

• I would begin the ceremony with a few words about the ceremony and its meaning. Then I hand each person a vase of coloured sand.

• The first person (often the groom) starts by pouring his sand into the central vase with a verbal offering of love. (Possibly one of the vows)

• Next, the second person (often the bride) pours her sand into the central vase, forming a second layer, offering a vow in return.

• If other family members are participating, they each pour their sand into the central vase. Offering their blessing and good wishes as they do so. If it's just the couple participating, they typically each add another layer to the vase, each time adding to their vows.

• To finish, everyone pours at the same time, forming a mix of colours at the top that represents the united family. Some couples choose to reserve this last step just for themselves, while others include the whole family.