Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,649 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Activity: Paschal Candle as a Centerpiece

This Paschal Candle is the center of the Easter table, and is lit at every meal until the Ascension, when it is removed to show that Christ has truly risen.

DIRECTIONS

At breakfast, amidst the platters of sliced ham and scrambled eggs and Kulich and pumpernickel bread and sweet butter and bagels (delicacies obtained at a Jewish delicatessen ), the Paschal Candle, Lumen Christi, is the center focal point. It sits in the middle of the table in a bowl of fresh cut flowers which symbolize our new life (you may have to get these at the florist if Easter comes early; count it as an extravagance similar to Mary Magdalene's "wasting" the ointment). Easter holy water, newly blessed, has been added to the flower water. The candle is the largest we could buy. It must be, since it will be lit every meal until Ascension, when it is removed to show that Christ has truly risen. Five cloves, symbols of Christ's wounds, are affixed to it by the father in the shape of a cross. Maria Augusta Trapp, in her book, Around The Year With The Trapp Family, describes the ceremony of the lighting of the Paschal candle in their parish church in Stowe, Vermont:

.... With a knife the priest cuts a cross on the candle. Then the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, the Alpha and Omega, and finally the numbers of the year, . . . while he says:

'Christ yesterday and today
the Beginning and the End
Alpha and Omega
His are the times and ages
To Him be glory and dominion
Through all ages of eternity
Amen.'

Then he fixes five blessed grains of incense (cloves for us) in the cross on the Paschal candle, saying:

'By His holy
and glorious wounds
may He guard
and preserve us
through Christ the Lord.
Amen.'

.... The pastor . . . solemnly lights the Paschal candle, saying:

'May the light of Christ
In glory rising again,
Dispel the darkness of
Heart and mind.'

Activity Source: Family Liturgical Customs No. 4: Easter by Ethel Marbach, Abbey Press Publishing Division, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1964

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Could respect for the papacy mean resisting the Pope? 2 hours ago
The Church Moves On, Slowly October 24
Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? October 24
The Pope is not the problem October 23
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. October 23

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6