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Rebuilding a sustainable world.

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The Meaning of Christmas Candles

Significance Of The Christmas Candles

Here’s another informative post by Sanchita Chowdhury on the Boldsky blog.  If you’ve ever wondered why we light candles during the Christmas Holiday’s, Chowdhury’s piece explains their significance:

Lighting candles on Christmas is an old tradition. The tradition of lighting candles on Christmas comes from the Jewish ‘Feast of Lights’ or Hanukkah. They mark the birth of Jesus Christ who is the Light of the World. Christmas candles are also symbolic of the Light from Heaven which provides us with warmth during the cold winter nights. When it comes to Christmas, the candle light represents Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is also known as the Light of the World who takes us from the path of darkness and leads us to true light.

The light of the candle signifies the path of illumination and realising the true meaning of human life. It represents spirituality, devotion and faith.

In the medieval times, it was customary to represent Christ with a burning candle. This custom is still followed in most churches and Christian houses. A large candle representing the Lord is placed at the centre of the laurel wreath and is kept burning through the Holy Night. The custom of lighting candles is still followed in its original form in most countries.
In Ireland: The mother or father of the household lights a large candle which is decorated with the holly. Then the family members sit together and pray for all their near and dear ones, both living and departed.
In Slavic Nations: A large Christmas candle is put up on a table after it has been blessed by the priest in the church. Interestingly, the Ukrainians do not use candle stands. Rather they stick the candle in a bread loaf.
In South America: In many parts of South America the candle is placed in a paper lantern with Christmas symbols and pictures of the Native culture for decoration.
In England & France: Three candles are molded together at the base which signifies the Holy Trinity.
In Germany: The Christmas candle used to be placed on top of a wooden pole decorated with the evergreens during the seventeenth and the eighteenth century.
Lighting the candle on Christmas has a one true meaning, no matter how it is lighted, it symbolises one’s faith in God and the fact that human life is not stable. It is sure to melt away with time like the candle.

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Celtic Spirituality

The Celtic cross, a pre-Christian symbol which...

The Celtic cross, a pre-Christian symbol which was later amalgamated with the Christian crucifix. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Ashland Daily Tidings, Rhoda Maxwell looks to the Celts for spirtiual guidance:

Although the Celts lived hundreds of years ago, their religion is a great help to us to deepen our spirituality.

An early teaching of the Celtic Christians was that they could perceive God reflected in every plant and insect, every bird and animal, and every man and woman. They believed in unity and celebrated diversity as a richness in their lives.  Men and women were considered equal in all ways and held equal positions in Celtic communities.

The Celts had a profound sense of God in their daily life. God was not set aside to pray to only when they needed help or when they gave thanks for a specific blessing. Their spirituality was down to earth; a sense of God that informs and transforms daily life. It is a question of vision, of seeing nothing too common to be exalted, and nothing is too exalted to be common.

Their ideal was to accept unity without uniformity. They had the ability to hold things together by letting God into every corner of their lives. Every act was infused with the presence of God. When the first fire was lit in the morning, the sticks of wood were laid in a cross with thanks to God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. They gave thanks to God, not only for their food, but also for their ability to prepare the food; for every act in daily rituals; for every person they met during the day, for the natural world around them. No part of their life was separate from the presence of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Because the Celtic religion knew God, not only in scripture and liturgy, but also in the details of the natural world, the Celtic cross symbolizes this: A Christian cross with a great “O” of creation imposed on it. The circle of the world and the cross of redemption brought together in one whole.