Posted on April 22, 2019 by Nancy Schmitt
“Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord;’
and she told them that he had said these things to her.” –John 20:18
We had a wonderful Easter celebration in worship yesterday! But, it’s important to remember that Easter is not only a one-day celebration. Easter continues through the season of Eastertide, also known as the Great 50 Days of Easter, which is 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, which is June 9th this year.
During the Great 50 Days, we light the Paschal Candle, also known as the Christ Candle, in worship. The Paschal (pass’-kul) Candle is the tall white candle on a stand next to the Communion Table. The Paschal Candle represents the light of Christ. We carried the Paschal Candle out of worship on Good Friday to symbolize the death of Jesus. Then in our Easter worship, the Paschal Candle was brought back into worship, symbolizing the resurrection of Jesus and the light of Christ being with us.
The symbol on the front of the Paschal Candle is the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, Alpha and Omega, to signify that Christ is the beginning and the end. The symbols of wheat represent the bread of Communion and the symbol of the cross has a star-shaped center to represent the star at Christ’s birth and the empty cross to represent his death and resurrection. After Pentecost, the Paschal Candle is lit during baptisms and funerals as a reminder that the covenant of Baptism carries throughout our life.
As Easter people, may we continue to show and share God’s love by being the Christ-light for others.