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» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Ecclesiantics   » Paschal candle outside paschaltide

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Paschal candle outside paschaltide
keibat
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A discussion on a parallel forum came to my attention and re-sparked my interest in this question: In current Anglican usage, when is it a) permissible and b) desirable to light the Paschal candle outside Eastertide?

A quick search-engine snuffle mainly came up with explanations of the distinction for the Roman Church between the *total* restriction in the Extraordinary (Tridentine) rite: Only during Eastertide and only up to Ascension Day; and the current default rule, which carries on up to but not beyond Pentecost, and thereafter at Baptisms and (less unambiguously clear) funerals.

It seems that many Anglican parishes use it at baptisms; less clear for other Occasional Offices (funerals, ??weddings; ??confirmation?)

I remember having a misconception that it was OK, perhaps desirable to light the Paschal candle at the Principal Service on all Sundays (after all, every Sunday is a commemoration of our Lord's resurrection) & major Festivals, tho' not at other services; of this I have to my slight regret been disabused.

There may well be a dead thread lurking in the Ship's hold, but I don't know how to find it.

Do any Shipmates have interesting or constructive or enlightening or amusing thoughts to offer?

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Graven Image
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I was seen it used at all funerals in each church I have attended for a number of years. As the Deacon I often processed in front of the casket carrying the Pascal candle.

[ 30. July 2017, 21:33: Message edited by: Graven Image ]

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Brenda Clough
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We have it out for Christmas.

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BabyWombat
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(TEC response) In my old shack it stood beside the font in the liturgical west end and was lit for baptisms or moved forward to stand, lighted, beside the coffin or urn for funeral. (or carried there by the deacon after the reception of the remains). Otherwise it is unlit, although as I recall it can be lighted and used in the liturgy of light at a more festal Evening Prayer service, lighting other altar candles from it, recalling baptism. Otherwise, it stands quietly waiting.

In my current shack, it stands in the working sacristy, unregarded by all, and trotted out for Easter season, Baptisms (standing by the font) or funerals (standing by the coffin or urn)

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Bishops Finger
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Outside Eastertide, ours sits by the font, and is lit for Baptisms. It is then used for lighting the candidate's baptismal candle.

We also light it for funerals, for which purpose it is brought back to the chancel step (where it sits during Eastertide).

I've never heard of the Paschal Candle being lit at Christmas, but why not? It is, in its way, a reminder of the Incarnation, I guess.

IJ

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Gee D
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Funerals, baptism, Christmas, Baptism of Our Lord, All Saints, Christ the King.

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irreverend tod
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Power cuts [Big Grin] Otherwise baptisms and funerals.

We've used the same candle to several years and just trim it down because it doesn't get much wear, being a small church and congregation. I get more sharp in drawing of breath over our thrift than when it gets lit.

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Brenda Clough
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Oh gosh, the real-wax ones are brutally spendy. We have long since shifted over to the liquid-wax candles. Much cheaper, and they are now so cunningly made that you have to go up and touch them to realize it's plastic and not beeswax. Also, there is a vast savation in labor, getting splashes of wax off of linens, the carpet, etc., and you never have to agonize about what to do with the too-short candle ends.

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Pine Marten
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Ours is near the pulpit and is lit for the main service every Sunday, because (as our priest explains) it's the day of Resurrection.

We do therefore get a new one every year as there's not much left of the old one by Easter...

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irreverend tod
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The short ends get melted down and remade, by one of our more frugal congregation. It came as a shock to find someone tighter than me.

We looked at all the alternatives, but given that they would be a new permanent item Father Holy Thing thought we'd need a faculty or permission from the arch deacon so we kept to real candles rather than face the paperwork. Sadly I'm not joking.

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Bishops Finger
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We chop the remains into two each Lent - they can then be used at the shrine of our patron saint, and are lit each Sunday.

Waste not, want not....

I like the idea of using the Paschal candle for The Lord's Baptism, All Saints, and Christ the King.

IJ

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Angloid
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quote:
Originally posted by Pine Marten:
Ours is near the pulpit and is lit for the main service every Sunday, because (as our priest explains) it's the day of Resurrection.

That's a really good idea in theory. But in practice doesn't it mean you take the paschal candle for granted and not see it as a specially celebratory thing for Easter? Just like there is no reason in theory why we shouldn't sing Alleluias throughout Lent, but when Easter comes they won't have the same effect.

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Curiosity killed ...

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Easter to Ascension, baptisms, weddings, funerals and Christmas.

If you like celebrating the nativity in a blaze of light, it may be wise not to surround the base of the Paschal candle with candles to add to the blaze of glory in a drafty church. We ended up with a Paschal candle bent into an acute angle after it melted one side and bent over. This was in a phase known as pyromaniacs are us, as we arranged and lit night lights on every possible surface (on top of plastic sheets topped with aluminium foil to protect the surfaces and reflect the light).

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Brenda Clough
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See, liquid wax at least saves you from that. Although, if you overfill the candles and then light them, some startling effects can be achieved.

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Pine Marten
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
quote:
Originally posted by Pine Marten:
Ours is near the pulpit and is lit for the main service every Sunday, because (as our priest explains) it's the day of Resurrection.

That's a really good idea in theory. But in practice doesn't it mean you take the paschal candle for granted and not see it as a specially celebratory thing for Easter? Just like there is no reason in theory why we shouldn't sing Alleluias throughout Lent, but when Easter comes they won't have the same effect.
I don't think so. I love to see it lit, and at baptisms our priest will make a point of saying that it's lit because it's the day of Resurrection. We light the other candles from it - baptism candles for the candidates, as well as the other umpteen candles around the place anyway - and it's a nice focus.

And we don't do Alleluias in Lent, we have the Stripping of the Altar on Maundy Thursday, Vigil till midnight on Good Friday, and so on...all good stuff [Smile]

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Curiosity killed ...

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You can't pierce an oil-filled candle with the nails as part of the Easter vigil service.

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Brenda Clough
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Oh, at Easter the Paschal candle gets kindled at dawn at a firepit out front. This fire is fueled by cards, upon which people who feel like it have written their sins. The Rector lights the Paschal Candle from it and comes into the darkened Sanctuary to announce the Light of Christ. Three times, and then the organ begins to blast out "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" and we all process in with the altar hangings and vessels, to dress the altar and zoom into the Eucharist. The choreography is complex and the possibilities for disaster endless, since the congregation is tapped to haul stuff up the aisle.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
You can't pierce an oil-filled candle with the nails as part of the Easter vigil service.

I've just returned from a funeral where the oil-filled paschal cabnle had all the symbols- don't know what they did to it at the Easter Vigil.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Oh, at Easter the Paschal candle gets kindled at dawn at a firepit out front. This fire is fueled by cards, upon which people who feel like it have written their sins.

Bad symbolism, though I've heard of this practic before.

[ 01. August 2017, 17:57: Message edited by: leo ]

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St. Gwladys
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Baptisms - the candle given to the newly baptised is lit from the paschal candle.
Funerals - which led to one near disaster when somehow, the greenery around the base of the candle caught fire. Thankfully, the family saw the funny side, as the deceased was being cremated [Killing me]

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Oh, at Easter the Paschal candle gets kindled at dawn at a firepit out front. This fire is fueled by cards, upon which people who feel like it have written their sins. The Rector lights the Paschal Candle from it and comes into the darkened Sanctuary to announce the Light of Christ. Three times, and then the organ begins to blast out "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" and we all process in with the altar hangings and vessels, to dress the altar and zoom into the Eucharist. The choreography is complex and the possibilities for disaster endless, since the congregation is tapped to haul stuff up the aisle.

You're right about the complexity. I can never remember just when the nails go into the candle, for example. And the entire congregation at the 5.30 service gathers outside for the lighting of the fire etc, and processes into the dark church with their own candles, lit from the Paschal candle. The church remains in darkness until the 8th (is it the 8th?) of the 10 readings when lights go on, bells rung, saucepans bashed etc. That leaves the poor servers just a few minutes to get the altar dressed while everyone else makes merry.

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Brenda Clough
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At our place we carefully deploy Altar Guild veterans, and the tinier tots get to carry purificators instead of flagons.

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Gee D
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Those poor souls rostered get busy late on Saturday afternoon and have everything on a shelf just outside the sanctuary. And yes, always veteran servers rostered on.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
You're right about the complexity. I can never remember just when the nails go into the candle, for example. And the entire congregation at the 5.30 service gathers outside for the lighting of the fire etc, and processes into the dark church with their own candles, lit from the Paschal candle. The church remains in darkness until the 8th (is it the 8th?) of the 10 readings when lights go on, bells rung, saucepans bashed etc. That leaves the poor servers just a few minutes to get the altar dressed while everyone else makes merry.

You mean it doesn't light itself miraculously in your church? I'm shocked!

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Oh gosh, the real-wax ones are brutally spendy. We have long since shifted over to the liquid-wax candles. Much cheaper, and they are now so cunningly made that you have to go up and touch them to realize it's plastic and not beeswax. Also, there is a vast savation in labor, getting splashes of wax off of linens, the carpet, etc., and you never have to agonize about what to do with the too-short candle ends.

However do you cut the cross into the candle and insert the grains of incense when it isn't made of wax?

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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
I can never remember just when the nails go into the candle, for example.

quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
You can't pierce an oil-filled candle with the nails as part of the Easter vigil service.

[Confused]

Why would you stick nails into the candle?

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Curiosity killed ...

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Piercing the Paschal Candle with nails is part of the Church of England liturgy for the Easter Vigil (page 89 of the pdf booklet, 408-409 of the full book):
quote:
Five nails or incense studs may then be inserted into the Candle, reminding us of the five wounds of Christ. Each stud is placed in the Candle at the points marked, in the order indicated by the numbers.


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The Scrumpmeister
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Piercing the Paschal Candle with nails is part of the Church of England liturgy for the Easter Vigil (page 89 of the pdf booklet, 408-409 of the full book):
quote:
Five nails or incense studs may then be inserted into the Candle, reminding us of the five wounds of Christ. Each stud is placed in the Candle at the points marked, in the order indicated by the numbers.

Thank you.

Are the nails a modern thing?

In all services and in all of my experience, it has only been incense grains that have been inserted. The symbolism, as I was taught, is that the five wounds are now the part of the risen, ascended, and glorified Christ, and are fragrant with the sweetness of the Resurrection and the age to come.

In my childhood Anglican parish in the CPWI, they took the form of pins with a diamond of wax at the tip, into each of which was embedded a grain of incense. In my teenage years, in the CofE, I saw pins with a screw-top brass receptacle at the end, into each which was placed a grain of incense. However, I always just saw these as a convenient way of inserting incense rather than having any sort of "nail" symbolism. After all, there is no tradition of five nails in the Passion, as far as I'm aware.

In my Orthodox experience, this past Pascha I witnessed for the first time five diamonds of a solidified wax/incense mastic used. My bishop held the tip of each in a flame before holding it against the candle and allowing the softened tip to solidify and stick to the candle.

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Curiosity killed ...

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I suspect that the nails are really incense studs. I'd have to go and look at them to see. They are arranged around the carved/painted cross on the candle when I've seen it. The linked text is from Times and Seasons, which was published in 2006, but apparently was based on previous books; the Lent, Holy Week and Easter as published in 1986. According to this article:
quote:
These forms drew heavily on historical liturgical patterns, and especially, in an ecumenically aware age, upon the way that these rites have evolved in the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. Indeed, a number of Anglican Parishes were already using both the older and more modern Roman Catholic rites, and interpolating them into the Anglican Eucharistic forms. It was made clear in 1986 that this was a perfectly legitimate thing to have done and to do.


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Brenda Clough
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I am sorry to report that our (plastic) Paschal Candle which burns liquid wax has (plastic) studs in it which, I realize, represent the incense studs.
This is not quite ours, but very similar.

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Bishops Finger
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Well, it certainly looks the part, even if it isn't quite kosher!

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

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Pigwidgeon

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The description says that "Removable brass nail inserts are available as an option."

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Brenda Clough
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Wow, that's fancier than ours. Ours has brass-nail-like bumps, but they are in no way removable.

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