“Exultation” & The Light of The World
We are a people of rituals. This candle making process was meant to be a metaphor of our relationship with God, Father, Son and The Spirit we share in the Eucharist. The pillar of light we have made together is a communion of many individuals coming together with Jesus forming this Mystical Body of Christ. We continue to enter into the Sacred Sacraments this Easter Vigil and often. Our light will merge with God and each other to illuminate our world with the love and prayer Jesus taught us. A group of candidates, who will be receiving the Sacraments at Easter Vigil, have participated in the making of a sacred candle. At a previous gathering we read and listened to the Exultet, which is sung at the sacred gathering commemorating Our Lord’s Resurrection and the Light of the World.
We discussed the meaning of the word “exultation” and how God’s love, and Jesus’ Light of the World has touched us in our own personal lives. The group then began fashioning miniature clay human figures, symbolically representing the many gestures in the Spirit of exultation to Jesus, the Light of the World. Those pieces were then translated by my studio into wax and mounted on the sacred pillar (the Paschal candle).
Their participation in this candle making process will stand in the church with the Light, as a testament of their union with Christ in their community.
We discussed stories from the New Testament, stories from the lives of ordinary people: a woman, a blind man and a friend that just passed away. Much like the people we live with every day of our lives, Jesus gave them hope.
Each member was asked to write a brief letter, recalling a time in their lives when they were in a dark place and how faith in God and the community welcomed them into the Light. They wrote in silence, while holy music bathed their souls.
Each individual was then invited to anoint one other’s wax figures on the new Paschal candle with gold. That will illuminate them, just as Christ’s presence illuminates our lives. They will also place gold on their own lives because they deserve it.
Then, they were each invited to read their letters aloud, sharing their experience with the group. Silently, the letter will be placed in the fire, offering the experience to God and each other as incense rises to the heavens.
Read more about this and see more photos in the “Ancient art for today: Candle maker preserves Easter tradition” article in The Michigan Catholic.