What are the things that come to your mind when you think of a church? A cross, a huge and peaceful inner hall, long lines of beautiful pews and of course, candles. One would think that Christianity and candles go hand-in-hand, but the fact is that candles are more ancient than Christ himself. The concept of lighting candles in prayers has its roots in ancient pagan traditions and culture. However, as of today, of all the Christian symbols, candles are so well-known that you cannot picture Christianity without candles anymore-churches look incomplete without them and Easter, well Easter cannot be the same without these tiny wax lights either. Candles are considered welcoming and represent joy and since Easter is all about celebrating Jesus's new life and welcoming Him to people's hearts, no Easter can be complete without lighting a candle. If you are interested to know more on Easter candles go through the article below.
Adorn your house with decorative candles for Easter. Read about homemade Easter candles.
- Easter candle symbolizes the simplicity of Jesus and is more commonly called the “Paschal candle” or even the “Christ Candle”. While the name “Christ Candle” is self-explanatory, the word "Paschal" is derived from a Hebrew word “Pesach” which means Passover. Hence, this candle celebrates the passing over of Jesus Christ to the immortal form or world.
- Easter candle is also in light to what Christ said to his disciples—“I am the light of the world! He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life!" He was called the “Light of the World” and the Easter candle symbolizes that.
- According to the Lutheran church, the Paschal candles in churches are lit on Easter day to commemorate Christ's resurrection and stay lit for the next 40 days till Ascension Day when Christ is said to have been received in Heaven. After this, the candle is extinguished and removed from the church.
- Some people even choose to light the candle on the first day of Lent until Easter. However, on Good Friday, the candles, across the world's churches and households, are extinguished to express sorrow on Christ's crucifixion.
- Nowadays, the practice of lighting the Paschal candle in the household has changed quite a bit. Instead of keeping the candle lit for 40 days, people light it only for Easter.
- Traditionally, Paschal or Easter candles are huge sturdy candles made of beeswax and are inscribed with various symbols.
- The most important symbol and the central symbol on a Paschal candle is that of a cross which clearly identifies a candle as an Easter candle.
- Also inscribed on the candle are Greek letters alpha and omega, which signify that God is omnipresent.
- The engraving of the current year on the candle signifies that God is amongst the group of people who have congregated to celebrate his resurrection and new life.
- Five grains of incense embedded into the candle stand for the five wounds that Christ bore on his body as a result of the crucifixion—one each on both feet and hands and one on his side where he was pierced by a spear to make sure he was dead. These grains are usually red to symbolize Christ's blood and hence his pain.
- Nowadays, with a shift in tradition, Easter candles do not necessarily follow the above symbolism. They are often shaped like dyed Easter eggs and come in various springtime colors like pink, bright green, blue and yellow etc.
Whichever be the type of candle that you like, you can buy them for your house or for gifts and can even make them at home. The point here is that candles talk of the glow of life that exists within each one of us and Easter celebrates this glow like no other Christian festival ever can!