Candles and all they represent have been on my mind. I’ve made several attempts to write a post about them, but it turns out sounding like a poor high school Bing-Bang-Bong essay. (Don’t even ask.) So I decided I’d just post my notes. Make of them what you will.
Interesting that in this darkest time of the year, many religions have candle-lighting customs
Hanukkah /Festival of the Lights – Jewish friends light candles in a menorah, adding on one each night for eight nights to commemorate the miracle in the temple in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago. The temple was vandalized, and there was only enough oil to burn for one night, but it lasted for eight, until more oil could be consecrated.
Originally Christians put a candle in the window so the Christ Child could find his way. Now candles as well as electric and LED lights abound in and out of houses
In the Catholic Church, lighting a candle as a prayer
Candles for remembering – Jewish friends light a Yahrtzeit candle on the anniversary of a loved one’s death The candle is specially made to burn for 24 hours
Now there is a day in December where anyone who has lost a child lights a candle for remembrance Sadly there will be at least 20 more of those next December
During the Gulf War, people were requested to keep a candle in the window as a prayer of protection for our troops
The Eternal Flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
To represent unity as in a wedding ceremony, bride and groom each hold a candle and use it to light a larger candle to symbolize the new blended families
Candles to celebrate – not much is more joyful than candles on a birthday cake, even when there are enough to set off the smoke detector
A reminder that candles were once the main source of light
The saying, “It’s not worth a penny candle” In the days before electricity , you would need a candle – which cost a penny- to read a book, write a letter, etc, and sometimes that was not worth the penny
So many songs about candles
Here’s a favorite:
One Little Candle
It is better to light just one little candle,
Than to stumble in the dark!
Better far that you light just one little candle,
All you need’s a tiny spark!
If we’d all say a prayer that the world would be free,
The wonderful dawn of a new day we’ll see!
And, if everyone lit just one little candle,
What a bright world this would be!
Joseph Malloy Roach
© Dorothy C. Judd
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