Why Churches Should Provide Baptismal Candles
New parents, grandparents and godparents are often overcome with emotion while watching the baptism ceremony of a precious little one. The sacred ceremony and the special time for family and friends to recognize their roles in this spiritual event of one of God’s children is an honor for everyone involved. Baptism is a beautiful illustration of the beginning of one’s faith journey, and a reminder of all Christ has done for us and will do through us.
What is a Baptismal Candle?
Baptism is a sacred passage in an individual’s faith journey. In many faith traditions, baptismal candles play a central role in the baptismal ceremony and later in the life of the baptized individual’s proudest moments. A baptismal candle illustrates many ideas depending on the faith practice. Some of the most common ideas the baptismal candles stand for include representing the Light of the World, the inner light of the person being baptized or to symbolize the Holy Spirit and the fire promised to those who are baptized in Christ. A simple candle takes on a much larger message when used in a holy way.
Traditionally, baptism ceremonies involve using the Paschal candle. The Paschal candle is lit each year on Easter and is used throughout the year for special occasions, such as baptisms. In a baptismal ceremony, the baptismal candle is lit using the Paschal candle. Then, it is held during the ceremony by the parents or the godparents. It is typically given to the child after his or her baptism.
As the child grows, the baptismal candle may be lit again on special occasions, such as the baptism anniversary, weddings and funerals. Many individuals keep their baptismal candles throughout their lives. By not keeping it lit for long periods of time, it is able to be lit over and over again for special events.
Presenting the Baptismal Candle as a Gift
By church’s supplying families with baptismal candles during their child’s baptismal ceremony, the church is providing the family with a precious keepsake. This will be a keepsake that not only helps the family, but also guides the child as he or she learns more about his or her faith. It is a great reminder that believers are called to share their light with the world. Using a candle to illustrate this concept is easy and effective.
By gifting a child with a baptismal candle, the church is showing its promise to help the child along his or her faith journey. It shows the church’s role in lighting that path. If one of the main functions of a church is to draw parishioners closer to God, then handing them a symbolic reminder of their faith is a wonderful gift.
For some church members, baptism is important, but they may have forgotten all the traditions in the ceremony. They may need to be reminded of what this candle represents and why it is an important part of the baptismal ceremony. If a church has a supply of baptismal candles and offers it as a gift, it makes this part of the ceremony even more meaningful for these families.
In a time when the world feels dark, it is nice to share light with others. We hope the next time you attend a baptism ceremony, you are filled with awe and remembrance as you see the light of the candle.