Light a candle at Christmas

A candle flame does more than light up a room

November 13, 2017

A lit candle is more than a source of light in a dark room. All civilizations and religions have used it as a focal point for something.

For the Hindu, an oil flame represents using knowledge to conquer the ugly side of human nature – lust, anger, greed, bigotry, fear, injustice, envy, etc.

Jewish rites center around lamp flames as they symbolize God himself present among His chosen people. A Roman Catholic Mass uses candles in the sacred rites for the same reason.

The sight of flickering candles on top of headstones in graveyards around Finland creates an almost ethereal air as family members remember past loved ones.

This ritual is used in many homes where a lit candle is more than just scent and ambience. They are often lit to remember a loved one who is no longer here.

Losing a mother or father is hard and can make the holidays difficult to handle. Watching children climb onto Santa’s lap in the mall brings back painful Christmas memories of Dad or Grandpa playing Father Christmas.

Having to bury a son or daughter is devastating. Tiny Tim proclaiming “God bless us everyone” can bring a never-ending flood of tears.

Lighting a candle is a symbolic way to represent the soul. For those who believe in spirituality, the soul never dies. By lighting a candle, in a way that soul is once again a part of the holiday.

As long as the candle is lit, memories can be shared and the ache is less. The instant the lighter touches the wick, it is as if a magic spell has been cast.

As the flame dances with the air movement in the room, it is as if the spirit has joined the festivities. For just a moment, a wisp of air on the cheek is a kiss.

This year for Christmas, light a candle and welcome the memories. Hold tight to the hand of the ghost of Christmas Past as you peek through the windows.

Attend a Christmas Eve service and as the candles are lit around the room, make plans to create new memories.

Seek to become your own candle and light the world around you. When a candle is lit in your memory, may it ease away the ache that was left behind.

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