Candles, which play an important role in this story, are important symbols to many religions, but our story centers on a Catholic altar boy who is mesmerized by the beauty of the candles, the aroma when extinguished and how the boy feels when he is around them.  

Following are some quotes from Christian authors explaining what candles mean to followers of Christ

Symbols: Signposts of Devotion-Ratha Doyle McGee, pgs. 34-35

“Candles are a relatively recent invention. They were not used in Palestine prior to AD 100. So the symbol which the candle replaces is a lamp. Low bowls holding oil in a wick were used for light during biblical times. Thus, by a process of substitution, the candle has come into common use as a symbol of Jesus Christ, “The light of the world.” Therefore, we use candles on our altar or communion table to remind us of the words found in John 8:12 and 9:5: “I am the light of the world.” 

The practice of using two candles, and thus two candlesticks, probably arose from the necessity of balancing one with the other, since the cross should have the central place. However, the two are exceedingly espressive of the twofold nature of our Lord, his human nature in his divine nature.”

Signs and Symbols in Christian Art-George Ferguson, pg. 162

Candles play a great and varied role in churches, and according to their use and numbers the teaching of the church is expressed symbolically. Examples of this are the six lights on the altar, representing the Church’s constant round of prayer; the sanctuary lamp; the Eucharistic candles, symbolizing the coming of Christ in communion; the Paschal candle, symbolical of the risen Christ during the Easter season… the use of candles for devotional purposes, at shrines and in processions, is universal and frequently seen in renaissance art. The candlestick, because of the symbolism attached to the candle, is usually a work of artistic beauty.

Candle Lighter

I can still remember as an altar boy moving the wick out far enough on the top of the candle lighter to get a decent flame with which to light each of the six candles on the altar. Once they were all lit, it was important to extract the wick into the lighter to put it out the flame, but then immediately to stick it out into the air so it would not cause a stain inside the small tube that held the wick. After Mass, there was the heavy smoke and aroma from the candles after they had been snuffed out with the bell shaped extinguisher opposite the wick holder.

About richrockwood

Writer of Christian fiction whose first book "Memory Theft" delves into the impact an extortion scam has on a retired widower. For more information please check out
This entry was posted in Appearance, Belief, Bible, Christ, Church, Faith, God, Heaven, Inspiration, Religion, Spiritual, Symbols, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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