Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day Nine -- Lighting Candles

I am not Catholic but I think their tradition of lighting candles and praying is beautiful and comforting. My favorite place to visit to light a candle is San Xavier del Bac, The White Dove of the Desert here in Tucson.
My family and I have visited there throughout the years to light candles and offer prayers for loved ones we have lost, those going through ill health and prayers for safety when traveling among other things.

The practice of lighting candles in order to obtain some favor probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights.

Knowing that the candle burns long after the prayers have been sent is one reason I find the custom so comforting. And though there is nothing like the atmosphere of a dimly lit church, the smell of candle wax and the softly lit glow of a bank of candles, I am happy to see that the internet age has brought candle lighting to cyberspace. Light a Candle

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