Making a Paschal Candle at home
On Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil, the new Paschal candle is blessed.
But since we won’t be at the churches this year to enjoy this ceremony, you can spend some time learning about the symbolism of the candle and make your own at home!
The Paschal Candle is a symbol of the Risen Christ, and is lit throughout the Easter season. As a reminder of the hope of resurrection, the Easter candle is also used at funerals and baptisms, when the newly baptized receive the light of Christ into their hearts. (Trivia question for your kids: When it isn't the Easter season, where would you find the Paschal Candle in the church?.... by the Baptismal Font)
There are a few main components that decorate the Easter candle:
A white candle made of beeswax
A cross, reminder of Jesus’ cross
The numbers of the current year, 2020
5 grains of incense, symbol of the 5 wounds of Jesus
The Greek letters alpha and omega (our A and Z), a title of Jesus from the book of Revelation (Rev 22:13)
A white candle (if you don’t have one at home, a paper towel roll covered in white paper or rolled up piece of cardstock would work)
Something to represent the incense (I’m using sewing pins, but pushpins, cloves, or even stickable gems would work)
Something to make the letters, cross, and year (I’m using paint for the numbers and letters, and ribbon for the cross, but you might have stickers or want to print on labels)
You may also want some glue to keep the ribbon in place. I just used the pins to attach the ribbon but that made the steps go out of order!
Steps: (These steps include the prayers from the Roman Missal that will be used on Easter Vigil night)
Add or trace the vertical part of the cross while saying, "Christ yesterday and today"
Add or trace the horizontal part of the cross while saying, "The beginning and the end"
Add or trace the Alpha (looks like a capital A). "The Alpha"
Add or trace the Omega (looks like an upside down U with feet) "and the Omega"
Paint/add the first 2 of 2020. "All time belongs to Him"
The first 0 of 2020. "And all the ages"
The second 2 of 2020. "To him be glory and power"
The final 0 of 2020. "Through every age and forever. Amen"
Press the 5 pins into the points of the cross and one in the center while saying "By his holy and glorious wounds, may Christ the Lord guard us and protect us. Amen."
Add whatever other decorations you want that remind you of Easter: a lamb, symbols of the Eucharist, an empty tomb, an angel.
Share a picture of your finished candle on our Faith in the Home Facebook page.
Share a pic on the Faith in the Home Facebook page!
Homemade Paschal Candle blog post
on Friday, April 10 at 6:43PM