1. Candles give
light. They remind us of Christ Our Savior, Who said “I am the Light of the world.”
They also remind us
that we must also shine as lights, for Christ said that we, too, are the
light of the world.
For He said:
“You are the light of the
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see
your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16).
2. Candles give warmth. They remind us that we must also give warmth
to those around us, especially those who are cold and needy — to warm
them with our love.
3. Candles burn
with fire. They remind us of the eternal fires of hell, which await us if
we do not repent and do not follow God’s commandments.
4. Candles are
beautiful but dangerous. They shed a beautiful soft light in the Church
makes the icons glow and that makes it so much easier to concentrate in
prayer. However, if not monitored, they can also ignite the church
furnishings and cause the church to burn down and all of the icons be
destroyed. They teach us to be ever vigilant and careful, because lack of
vigilance can bring terrible consequences.
5. Candles are not
permanent. They remind us that our time of life here on earth is
fleeting, and that every day our life grows shorter until it is extinguished.
Candles call us, therefore, to repentance, for our time here on earth is not
6. Candles are
straight. They remind us that we must stand straight before the Eyes of
the Lord, that our deeds must be straightforward and righteous. A candle that
is not standing straight up will not burn properly. So we too must be
straight in our ways, leaning neither to one side or the other.
7. Candles bend but
do not break. A wax candle has the wonderful property of being able to be
bent in a full circle without breaking, but can then be straightened out
again. They remind us that we must be able to withstand challenges and
sorrows that we face in our lives without breaking. Though these sorrows may
bend our resolve, we, through contrition and repentance, can become straight
8. Candles can be
both hard and soft. They are hard when they are cold, but become soft
when they are warmed. In the same way, our hearts are hard when cold, and we
must warm them with love of God and of our fellow man in order for them to be
Candles shed tears. When burning, the wax of a candle causes little
drips to form and run down the candle that look like tears running down our
face. They remind us that we must shed tears over our sins, and out of
compassion for others.
10. Candles are
gift of the animal world. Candles are made from wax, which is the product
of the labor of thousands of honeybees working together. Candles remind us
that we must also be industrious and not lazy and that we must love all of
God’s creatures, big and small and be thankful to them when we use the
fruit of their labors for our benefit.
11. Candles are
useful but simple. Candles are not complex. They are simple in nature,
but perform their task well. Especially in our age where we are surrounded by
complex technology, candles remind us that the simple things are often the
Throughout the ages,
candles have made it possible to perform services in the hours when it is
dark outside. They make it possible for the priest to read the prayers in his
service book, for readers and chanters to be able to assist in the services.
Without candles, there would have been no All-Night Vigils, no Midnight
Offices, no Paschal Midnight Matins and liturgies. Candles remind us that we
too must do our jobs well, to live our lives well in accordance with
God’s commandments, without complications.
12. Candles are
useless without a spark. They remind us that we all are dead and useless
unless we are lit with the spark of the Holy Spirit, which ignites the flame
of life. Candles remind us of the Holy Spirit, Who appeared to the Disciples
in the form of a flame. They remind us that we must ask the Holy Spirit to
come and abide in us, and cleanse us of every impurity that our souls may be