Candlemas Day or Blessing of Candles

Often times we just accept what happens at Mass without even thinking about what our actions mean. During this wintertime in our northern hemisphere, daylight is not that abundant; days are short and nights are long and cold. In our homes, we might use candles on our dinner tables for important meals, not only for light, but also to signify special events. The use of a candle on the dinner table has a long tradition in our Judeo-Christian culture. Our Jewish brothers and sisters begin their Sabbath service by lighting two candles that represent the dual commandments to remember and to keep the Sabbath. In our homes now, we usually have two candles on the table for important family meals. In our churches, there are usually two candles on or near the altar. Candles have a long history and meaning in our homes and churches. Even in our secular society, we have Groundhog Day that is said to predict the coming of spring, if there is enough light to cast a shadow. The image of light is all around us this time of the year.

Consider creating a blessing of candles for home use to connect what we do at church with what we do at home. After all, the home is often times called the "domestic church." Begin your family candle blessing with a reading from Scripture, such as Mathew 4:13-17 where we read, "The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light." Here is the concept that Christ is the light of the world, and we have faith through the great example of Jesus. After the reading, choose one of the family members to say a blessing over the candles and food. You may find many good family blessings in Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.

If you have a candle or two you would like blessed, bring them to church for our 8:00 AM Mass. At Mass, we will be blessing the candles used at our various liturgies here at Holy Cross, throughout the coming year.  We will have "candles for the home" (51% beeswax) available for a donation of $3.00 for a boxed set of 2.