Built of Living Stones 94: The Paschal Candle

This is an importance piece:

§ 94 § The paschal candle is the symbol of “the light of Christ, rising in glory,” scattering “the darkness of our hearts and minds.”(CDWDS, 1973 Sacramentary, Easter Vigil, #12) Above all, the paschal candle should be a genuine candle, the pre-eminent symbol of the light of Christ. Choices of size, design, and color should be made in relationship to the sanctuary in which it will be placed. During the Easter Vigil and throughout the Easter season, the paschal candle belongs near the ambo or in the middle of the sanctuary. After the Easter season it is moved to a place of honor in the baptistry for use in the celebration of baptisms. During funerals the paschal candle is placed near the coffin as a sign of the Christian’s passover from death to life.(Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts 99)

Considering the size, design and color, this parish judgment may be determined by the circumstances of the place for worship. Thicker candles may be good, but they might require three wicks rather than one to ensure an even burning of wax. Large and especially tall candles present a possible problem for godparents at the baptismal liturgy. I know our candle is a challenge when we attempt to derive the light for a baptismal candle.

The USCCB doesn’t require this candle (or any other) to be white, though I think most people assume it to be so.

Otherwise, there’s a lot of flexibility here. Location needs some attending to.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Built of Living Stones, USCCB documents. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Built of Living Stones 94: The Paschal Candle

  1. Liam says:

    The Pascal Candle does have to be made from beeswax, and the tradition is that it is bleached (with unbleached beeswax being a sign of mourning in traditional use), et cet.

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