Felicia will light her candle, pray, and watch as a breeze carries the wisp of smoke from her candle flame up to heaven along with her prayers. But where did the candle come from? The story begins with a breeze, some bees, and a beekeeper (who happens to be a singing nun!)
While preparing for this post, I began thinking about all the symbolism associated with lighted candles and why in the Orthodox Church our candles are made from pure beeswax. I came across from very enlightening information that I'd like to share with you.
Blessed Simeon of Thessalonica (15th century), a commentator on the Liturgy, wrote about six things that candles symbolize for us...
1. The pure wax (bees wax) of a candle reminds us that our hearts should be pure.
2. The softness and pliability of wax speaks of our readiness to obey God.
3. We are reminded of the sweet aroma of God's Divine Grace in our souls because the wax comes from fragrant flowers.
4. The burning of the candle as it mixes with and feeds the flame represents man’s deification, his becoming a new creature through the fire of God’s love.
5. As the candle lights the darkness, so must the Light of Christ shine before men in our hearts.
6. Lastly, it symbolizes the love and peace that should characterize every Christian, because the wax that burns down when it illuminates, is like our love for our fellow man; but it also comforts man with its light in the darkness.
Today I'd like to dedicate my post to two gentle men whose lives glowed like bright candles, with the Light and Love of Christ for those around them. Like wisps of smoke that rise after a candle is blown out, they left us this month (which ironically began with Candlemas on the 2nd) to move heavenward.
During an Orthodox funeral service, as well as at memorial services, the faithful stand with lit candles as a sign that the deceased's soul has left this world and entered the Kingdom of Heaven and the Unwaning Light of God.
Ray was 93 years young and lived a long life, taking tender loving care of his wife for many years before she died. This precious man missed her dearly ever since, and finally went to join her a couple of weeks ago. I enjoyed countless visits with both him and his wife. He was our "bell-ringer" at church - letting us know each Sunday when our Priest was ready to give the blessing for our food at coffee hour!
I was not able to attend Ray's funeral, because the day before it I got the devastating news of a second death...
Please light and candle and send up prayers for the souls of these two men - and for their families. And share In The Candle's Glow with a child you love!