I set the box aside, even before the Christmas season ended. The Candlemas box. On February 2, when the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we will go to Mass and have our candles blessed. I have been placing in that box the candles I will use in my home this year. There are some large jar candles, some smaller votive candles, two boxes of brand new advent candles, some beeswax tapers. These are the lights, the flames, that mark the hours of our days.
In the atrium, we teach the children that the flame is the light of Christ and the smoke is our prayers going up to heaven. My children love this concept! Each day, a candle illuminates the hour, warms the moment, brings us into the presence of Him who is Light. In our home, the first candle of the day is the one on the prayer table. There, next to the icons, is a large glass candle, safely up away from little hands. This is a candle that might burn all day.
I light it in the morning for my personal time with my Bible and a cup of tea. I love the way the light dances off the icons. If there are specific and pressing prayers for which I have been asked to pray, I leave it lit. These candles burn for a long time and they fill the air with scent. Both the light and the scent call to mind prayer intentions throughout my day. I've been slowly gathering these, one at a time, at my local grocery store (though I just noticed the Amazon price is better). I'm sure I don't have enough for the whole year, but I do have several to be blessed.
This candle's light is central in our home. We see it as we go up and down the stairs. We see it when we come and go through the front door. And it is the first thing my children see when they come downstairs to find me in the morning. The day begins in the glow of golden light.
A good beginning, I think.
Preparing for Candlemas: