The candle used throughout the Easter season has actually profound symbolism.

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Not surprisingly, at an early stage Christians supplied candles in your liturgies. Originally this to be done for useful purposes (especially as soon as praying in the catacombs), however the irradiate coming native the candles quickly ended up being symbolic.

The candle-lit ceremonies reminded christians of Jesus’ native in the Gospel that John, “I am the light of the world; the who follows me will certainly not walk in darkness, however will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Therefore candles ended up being a main part of Christian worship and also were connected with the irradiate of Christ.

Besides using multiples candles for handy illumination purposes, there began a legacy where a single candle was provided as a direct symbol that Jesus. Follow to Fr. Edward McNamara, “The most likely origin is the it acquired from the Lucernarium, the night office v which at an early stage Christians started the vigil because that every Sunday and also especially that of Easter. In turn, this rite is probably inspired by the Jewish custom of bright a lamp in ~ the conclusion the the Sabbath. The rite as such has its root in the really beginning of Christianity. In the Lucernarium rite the irradiate destined come dispel the darkness of night was offered to Christ as the splendor of the Father and indefectible light. This Sunday rite was logically carried out with higher solemnity during the Easter Vigil.”

Over time the Easter candle was given greater prominence and was decorated to more expound ~ above the Paschal mystery. Below is a short guide come the Easter candle together with the corresponding symbolism.

Wax Candle

According come the Catholic Encyclopedia, “The pure wax extract by bees from flowers symbolizes the pure meat of Christ got from His Virgin Mother, the wick signifies the spirit of Christ, and the fire represents His divinity.”


The roman inn Missal summarizes this symbolism perfectly, “May the irradiate of Christ increasing in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds.” This connects the Easter candle come Jesus, “light that the world,” together he defines himself in the Gospel of John.

From the Easter candle are lit all the other candles in the church, showing how Jesus is the resource of ours light.


The fire is memory of the “pillar that fire” the led the world of Israel and also protected them as they escaped the enslavement of the Egyptians. The Exsultet refers to this symbolism as soon as it states, “This is the night that through a column of fire banished the darkness that sin.”


The cross is the supreme symbol that Jesus and the instrument with which he saved the people from sin and death.

Alpha and Omega

It is usual in Christian arts to find two Greek letters: the alpha (Α) and omega (Ω). These 2 letters have actually an ancient history in Christianity and also are rooted in the book of Revelation, where Jesus says, “I to be the Alpha and also the Omega, the beginning and the end. Come the thirsty ns will give water there is no price native the fountain of the water the life. He who conquers shall have this heritage, and also I will be his God and also he shall it is in my son” (Revelation 21:6-7).


As the priest traces the year ~ above the Easter candle, the prays, “All time belongs to him, and all the ages.” This reminds us that God is here with united state today and is continuous guiding all development to himself.

Grains that incense

Five grains of incense are put into the candle on peak of the cross, symbolizing the five “holy and also glorious wounds” of Jesus Christ.

Read more:Why you can see that Easter candle again this year

Read more:Why carry out Catholics use candles at Mass?


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