A little more about candles

In September’s Home Lesson your kids made “stained glass” candle holders and we really hope you’ll use them throughout the year during family prayer time or when you’re doing your Family Formation lessons.

Candles are an ancient part of the Church and have beautiful symbolism.  They’re ornamental, adding beautiful soft light to our worship spaces.  They’re an offering, created and consumed in the service of worship.  One of the places this is noted is in the Exultet proclaimed at the Easter Vigil.

On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise, this gift from your most holy Church.

And they remind us of Christ, the Light of the world*, and His presence among us.

When you’re at Mass, you’ll see at least two candles by the altar, and in some parishes, other candles are lit by the ambo to accompany the scripture readings.  This is a beautiful reminder that Jesus is the Word of God and He is the Light of the World.

In a practical sense, at home, we probably only light candles for special occasions – birthdays or fancy dinners.  You can combine all of the above at home by lighting a candle when you do family prayer, read Scripture, or do your Family Formation lessons.

The profound beauty of lighting a candle (1)Simply light a candle when you begin, and let a child snuff it out when you’re done.  Not only does this simple tradition indicate that something different is happening, but it serves as good bookends to the beginning and end of some holy activity, while echoing the activity of the liturgy.

  • *Jn 8:12 I am the Light of the world
  • Mt 4:16 The people living in darkness have seen a great light
  • Jn 1:5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it
  • 1 Jn 1:5 God is light.  In him there is no darkness at all
  • Jn 12:36  Believe in the light while you have the light
  • Eph 5:14  Christ will shine on you

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