It is now that I light my candles.
(My favorite trio, shining nightly next to our front door. Originally posted on Instagram.)
It's an autumn ritual for me. Who needs the flickering flames when the sun shines bright until 10:00 PM? It is when the darkness closes in that I crave the light. Even tiny candles like the votives above speak comfort to me. They are a sign of the season, the annual rhythm that marks our life here in the Upper Midwest. Symbols of life slowing, of the coming exhale, of the time to rest.
Shabbath candles have a similar significance.
In the Jewish tradition, after ritual bathing, the woman of the household lights the two Sabbath candles, offering a blessing. When you light your candles, offer any blessing that reflects the thoughts of your heart.Tonight, around 5:30, I will go around my house and light my candles. Today isn't Sabbath. But for just a moment, I will stop and pray and thank God for His many gifts. In this way, I celebrate a Sabbath moment.May our hearts be lifted, our spirits refreshed , as we light the Sabbath candles. May the light fill our home with kindness and peace. Blessed is the loving Spirit by whose power we consecrate the lighting of these candles.Like the sounding of a bell that calls the monks to meditation, as the lighting of the candles begins the Mass, as the lighting of the candles begins Sabbath time, so does the lighting of these candles call our souls to rest and delight.
- Sabbath, by Wayne Muller
All because of tiny candles.