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Catholic Activity: Christ-Candle

The Christ-Candle, which represents Christ, is an integral part of the Christmas celebration. These are suggestions to integrate this candle during the feast season.


The candle, a widely recognized symbol of Christ the Light, has a definite place in the celebration of Christmas and is used in different ways. Some families have a large Christ-Candle which they light on each of the Twelve Days of Christmas at a special family function. The Christ-Candle is often placed on the center of the family dining table and lighted during the meals as a reminder that Christ is present as the members share food together. In other homes the Candle is placed near the crib, to be lighted during prayers and when the family gathers for singing.

Candles are very prominent on Christmas Day. This was possibly true even at the first Christmas when, because of the feast of the Dedication, the Jewish people were burning candles in their homes. In medieval times Irish Christians began the custom of placing a lighted candle in the window to show that the stranger was welcome to enter in the name of Christ and share in the Christmas abundance. Parents can make clearer the symbolism of leaving a candle in the window by keeping a plate of Christmas cookies and a hot drink ready for any modern-day wayfarers who may knock at the door, as well as for friends and neighbors.

Activity Source: Twelve Days of Christmas, The by Elsa Chaney, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1955

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