Skip to comments.Extinguish the Paschal Candle on the Feast of Ascension . . . or Else!
Posted on 05/22/2006 3:04:16 PM PDT by sionnsar
This Thursday being the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord, parishes around the world have a vital decision to make: do we extinguish the Paschal Candle on Ascension Day or on Pentecost?
I know of good otherwise orthodox churches that extinguish on Pentecost . . . but they are gravely mistaken. Just think of the symbolism. Does extinguishing the candle better symbolize the departure of our Lord or the coming of the Holy Spirit? One doesnt have to be a scholar in liturgics or even an Anglo-Catholic or even an obsessive owner of Ritual Notes (My copy says Ascension.) to know it better symbolizes the departure of our Lord.
But you dont have to take my word on this, although you should. For the Lord Himself has made his counsel quite clear on this matter. Look what happened to a Paschal Candle that was not extinguished on the Feast of Ascension. After it was brazenly lit on Day of Pentecost, the Lords wrath fell down, and the candle exploded. Note that the Lord was so wroth, He later smote another candle at the same Australian parish. May He so do to all Ungodly Innovations.
Further admonitions should be unnecessary. Extinguish the Paschal Candle on the Feast of Ascension as the Lord intends.
UPDATE: Although further discussion of this question should be unnecessary, you may find said discussion here at my favorite board on liturgical matters.
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The rubrics say to do so after the Gospel is read in the Ascension Day service.
They also say that if a church is blessing its font on Whitsun Eve, the Candle should be re-ignited and then extinguished again when the Font Blessing service is concluded.
Woah, I was going to say that it seemed fruitless to argue about rearranging the deck chairs so that they would be correct ---- but then I got to the exploding candle bit.HooooKAY! PUT THAT PUPPY OUT! The Vestry doesn't want to pay the insurance premiums.
LOL. I would not have posted but for that bit...
They do?? I take it you're not referring to the 1928 BCP...
Gosh, I never gave it any thought at all. Now I'll be watching at church the next few Sundays!
No, to the People's Anglican Missal, which text is very close to the American Missal we use on our altars. The text is that of the 1928 and has many additional propers and liturgies. We just celebrated one: the Rogation Processional (rubrics not even mentioned in the BCP).
Actually our acolytes have been trained to stand by the Candle, wand in hand, as the Gospel is read. Just after these words: "Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven." the Candle is extinguished as the reader pauses. Then the final sentence of the Gospel is read.
I dunno, it doesn't look to me like the Lord smote the candle by exploding it, it looks more like the candle smoted itself by melting down.
Someone has told me that the Paschal candle should also be lit for funerals. Can anyone confirm or deny?
Thanks! We celebrated the Processional this Sunday too (if you look at our blog), though this is the first I'd even heard of it.
Some other photo showed a spray of wax from another candle. Not a big gunpowder explosion, but definitely more than simply melting or burning down.
There might be a reason for that. The Rogation ceremonial is related to agriculture and was the source for the words 'beating the bounds'. The Processional would wind its way about the Parish, the Priest blessing the fields and barns asking God's help for a good harvest. As people have become so predominately urban, this is mostly fallen out of use. We live in what is pretty much a rural community with lots of farms, so we're reviving it.
The nicest part was that we had some children brought in who are taking their Confirmation class at the major UMC in town. This was something they had apparently not ever seen either and they left a bit startled. But what was even nicer, they left pleased as well.
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