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Catholic Word of the Day: PASCHAL CANDLE, 04-20-09 ^ | 04-20-09 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary

Posted on 04/20/2009 8:58:13 AM PDT by Salvation

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A large candle in which five grains of incense have been incased as a symbol of Christ's wounds. It is blessed on Holy Saturday in a special service and is symbolic of the Risen Savior, Light of the World. It is then used in the blessing of baptismal water and remains during the Paschal season in the sanctuary, where it is lighted during liturgical services.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; easter
Our Easter Candle will remain in the sanctuary next to the altar during the Easter season/Eastertide.
1 posted on 04/20/2009 8:58:13 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
Being Catholic: Sacred Things, [New] Fire, Paschal Candle
2 posted on 04/20/2009 9:03:01 AM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: JRandomFreeper; Allegra; SuziQ; BlackVeil; Straight Vermonter; Cronos; SumProVita; ...

Catholic Word of the Day – not linked – but you can do a search to find them.

La Salette



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Orders, Sacrament of


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Abbacy of St.Jerome


Doctrinal Demythology


Ecclesia Docens

Apostolic Signatura


Religion as feeling


Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Congregation for Catholic Education


Mystery Play

Paschal Candle



Catholic Word of the Day Ping!

Please send me a FReepmail if you would like to be on this Ping List.

3 posted on 04/20/2009 9:05:30 AM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: grey_whiskers

Thanks to grey_whiskers who posted the Catholic Word of the Day on Saturday.

We will not post it on Sunday anymore.

4 posted on 04/20/2009 9:06:41 AM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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5 posted on 04/20/2009 9:21:11 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Salvation

6 posted on 04/20/2009 10:01:15 AM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex

7 posted on 04/20/2009 10:06:40 AM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex
From Cardinal Sean O'Malley's blog:

On Saturday night we celebrated the Great Vigil of Easter in which we rejoice in the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s victory over death for us.

The Vigil begins outside the cathedral with the Service of Light during which there is the blessing of the fire and the lighting of the Easter candle.

The fire is a sign of Christ, the Light of the World

After the fire is blessed, I inscribe a cross, the Greek letters alpha and omega and the numerals 2007 in the wax of the cross


The inscription is made close to the blessed bonfire
from which the paschal candle will be lit

After the inscription, five grains of incense on pins incased in a piece of wax resembling a nail are inserted in the paschal candle, symbolic of the five wounds of Christ in the Cross



The Easter candle is lit


From the Easter candle, smaller candles are lit
for the members of the congregation
and we process into the church lit only by candlelight

8 posted on 04/20/2009 10:15:40 AM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex

An Easter Candle

Blessing the Paschal Candle, Exultet Roll, Montecassino, c. 1072

The lighting of the new fire and blessing of the Paschal Candle are the first ceremonies of the Easter Vigil. The fire is the symbol of the light of the new creation which the Resurrection inaugurates. The candle is a symbol of the presence of the Risen Lord in the midst of the Church. It is decorated with symbols reminding us that Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the crucified Lord who has risen from the dead to conquer sin and death for all time. Ideally, it burns continually throughout the season of Easter, though in practice it is usually lit only during services or, in some churches, during the hours the church building is open. In Orthodox churches, the lighting of the new fire is an event of importance not only in church but in the homes of the faithful. At the conclusion of the Paschal Liturgy, it is the custom to take the new fire home to light the lamps before the family icons. The miraculous kindling of the new fire in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is a very dramatic annual event and it has been the custom to take the fire from the Holy Sepulchre all the way to Athens and Alexandria to light the lamps for the Paschal services in churches there.

The Easter candle is an amalgamation of eastern and western customs.  It is a large white candle which may be used as the centerpiece at the family table or in some other prominent place in the home, perhaps the place where the family gathers for daily prayer.  It may be plain, or it may be decorated either like the Paschal Candle in church or with other Christian symbols. If it is decorated like the Paschal Candle, you will need five symbolic nails inserted in the candle in the form of a cross. The cloves serve another purpose, reminding us of the spices the women brought to the tomb on Easter morning. With paint or a magic marker, or with a knife, put an Alpha (A) above the cross, and an Omega (Ω) at the bottom. Also, write the numbers of the secular year (2006) on the candle. Other appropriate symbolsWooden Egg with Lamb of God - Russian might include a lamb, for Christ is the victorious Lamb of God, a fish, recalling the ancient symbol of Christ (the Greek word for fish, ΙΧΘΥΣ, stands for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior"), a phoenix rising out of the fire as Christ rose from the dead, or a pelican feeding her young with her blood as Christ feeds us with his Body and Blood. While it may not be possible to keep it burning continually through the season of Easter, it would be desirable to light the candle for the first time with the new fire from the Easter Vigil. For safety's sake, the fire should be transported from church to home in an enclosed lantern!

9 posted on 04/20/2009 10:21:32 AM PDT by annalex (
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To: annalex

Thanks for all the pictures and information.

10 posted on 04/20/2009 3:39:15 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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