Last year we were forced to focus on our domestic church – the church within our homes. When thinking about how we could keep the traditions of Holy Week going in our home even though churches we closed, we decided to make a family paschal candle for our domestic church.
Each parish has a paschal candle. At the start of the Easter vigil a "new fire" is lit and blessed. The paschal candle is the first candle to be lit from the flame of this sacred fire, representing the light of Christ coming into the world. The candle is then used throughout the Easter season and is lit for special occasions like weddings, baptisms and funerals.
You only need a few things to create your own paschal candle:
a pillar candle (or you could use a dinner candle if you prefer),
a paint brush,
cloves to be used in place of incense.
A paschal candle should have four symbolic features on it:
Alpha and Omega, representing God as the beginning and the end,
the current year
5 grains of incense (you can use cloves) for the 5 wounds of Christ.
Start by choosing your design. We searched Google and Pinterest for inspiration.
Use a pencil to draw a rough outline of your design and then paint the design onto the candle.
Using a pair of scissors or a sharp knife, carve out a bit of the wax where you will place the 5 cloves and then poke them in.
Add any embellishments you like. We used ribbon and placed our candle on a candle holder.
Once you have made you family paschal candle, ask your parish priest to bless it, and then display it somewhere in your home, lighting it throughout the year.
If crafts aren’t your thing, you can buy pre-made paschal candles on Etsy or find stickers/printables that you can add to any candle.
If you make a family paschal candle this Holy Week, we would love for you to share a photo of it with us.