“Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.” Jorge Luis Borges
Sand Ceremonies have been popular since the sixties as part of both religious and non-religious wedding ceremonies. There is a long history of sand use in ritual from Japan, Tibet and many cultures around the globe. There is much debate about where exactly the marriage rite came from but it is now hugely popular especially in The U.S. and Australia. Recently, we are seeing more and more of them in Irish weddings.
There is a basic metaphor of unity in the joining of two or more coloured sands. In religious or spiritual ceremonies, a third neutral colour is used to symbolise God or Spirit. The couple’s individual lives are represented by separate coloured sands in separate container which are poured, layer upon layer into the large centre container. As the sands intermix the grains become indistinguishable and can never again be separated. The parts of each person’s life, their talents, character traits, sets of friends and all that they bring form part of the rich tapestry of the whole union.
The sand ceremony is perfect for weddings by the sea and if a couple have a beach which is special to them they can gather sand from that place. The sand can be coloured very easily by adding food dye. If they are from two different places they can each bring local sand, representing the coming together of two cultures or two countries.
Some couples choose colours to represent their family crests, their sports team, their nationalities or just their favourite colours. The large container is sealed at the end and is kept as a treasured memento of the marriage ceremony.
This is also a wonderful way to include children. They can be given their own container with their own unique colour to represent their part in the family as a whole. Having said that, if they are very young it is unlikely the sand will end up anywhere other than the floor but this has its charm too.
If you would like to have a sand ceremony performed by one of our celebrants or any other of our ceremonies here at Marry Me Ireland, please contact us for more information.