Paschal Candles and Light of Christ

Paschal candles and light of Christ

“ After the Baptism, a candle (which is lighted from the Paschal Candle) may be given to each of the newly baptized or to a godparent.” Book of Common Prayer, 313.

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As a smaller candle is lighted from the large white Paschal Candle after a child is baptized, I often am privileged to hand it to the parent or godparent receiving it and say, “The light of Christ.” Indeed the Paschal Candle is often called the Christ Candle or the Easter Candle. Parents are encouraged to light again this smaller baptismal candle they are given on the anniversary of the child’s baptism as a yearly reminder of the light of Christ in each of our hearts and minds.

We may think the light of Christ inside of us is small, but we are called, mandated to share that light, and one of the ways to share our light is to encourage one another.  As Paul modelled in writings in so many letters, we are also called to connect with others who are carrying that light. That is why we have spiritual friends or connect with a spiritual director. 

When our light seems to dim, the others with light will lead us to the Paschal Candle where we will once again find our light, often even brighter. We light the Paschal Candle during the Easter season, at Baptisms, and at funerals, all times when we want to, and need to be reminded of the light of Christ in our hearts, in others, and in the world.

 Each time I meet with someone for spiritual direction, I light a candle when they come in. This is a reminder to me of how we are sharing the light of Christ with each other. I know I learn more in listening and talking with someone than what I can impart to them. We meet to see and encourage the light of Christ in each other. We meet solely to care for each other’s souls.