The Awesomeness of Easter!
The Paschal candle is one of the most sacred and enduring elements in Christianity. Made of beeswax to represent the purity of Christ, the candle’s wick signifies Christ’s humanity, and the flame His Divine Nature. It is adorned with one or more Christian symbols, often the cross to represent His redemptive sacrifice; the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet - Alpha and Omega – to signify that He is the beginning and the end; symbols of wheat and grapes, or a chalice and host, for the Eucharist - the true presence of Christ and our spiritual strength; the 12 Apostles – witnesses and scribes to the passion, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ; and other symbols such as the Good Shepherd, the Lamb, the Sacred Heart, and the Risen Christ. The Paschal candle remains in the Sanctuary on its special candle stand during the full 50 days of the Easter season, and is lit for liturgical services during that time. After Pentecost the candle will be placed next to the baptismal font. The candle is lit during all baptisms throughout the year, passing the light of Christ to each person baptized, and each catechism class. The candle may also be used at funeral services, and placed next to the casket during a funeral Mass. At funeral services it is a reminder that the sacrament of Baptism is itself a death and resurrection in Christ, and testifies to Christian certainty in the resurrection of the dead and life with Christ in the world to come. With Christianity the word “paschal” took on a new meaning, referring to Our Lord’s passion, death, resurrection, and glorification. These events stand at the center of our faith. God's saving plan for us was accomplished by the redemptive suffering and death of Jesus. His resurrection and glorification are our assurances of eternal life - if we follow His words and His way.
When you next see the Paschal candle in your church, may you too think of its long and sacred past, the death and resurrection of Our Lord which it represents, and the faith, hope and eternal life it means for all of us
We have so much to be thankful for. We have so many wonderful traditions. In this troubled world we live in how can we live without the loving grace of God and His Son Jesus? Even though the journey to the cross was very emotional, is very emotional, it always hits home, to me, all Jesus went through for us! For the forgiveness of our sins and for our salvation. We are sinful by nature and God knew this. Because He knew this He knows we all need grace and a loving Father who will forgive us as long as we are sincere in our hearts as we repent. None of us are worthy but with the Grace of God we are loved and forgiven. With this great gift what does God want from us? Well there are 10 Commandments that would make Him very happy. Following these commandments will also make us live a happier life. God knew it would not be easy but what in life that is worthwhile is easy? So where are you on this Easter journey with the journey to the cross and wonderfully the empty tomb? God has kept his promises to us. Our hope is in Jesus our Savior! Look to the empty cross and tomb. Take into your heart all that Jesus is offering. Come to church on Easter and every Sunday this year; look at the wonderment of our risen Savior. He is Risen Alleluia!
Glory to God in the Highest,
Rev. Walter Coy