This is the year our family finally made a Paschal candle. I thought it would be a fun way to teach the children the symbolism and meaning behind this Easter tradition. I’m grateful I took the time a couple weeks ago to intentionally plan our Holy Week or I know this would not have gotten done!
Real life Paschal candle crafting…
Being brutally honest here… after discussing the symbolism of the Pascal Candle, the boys were not interested in helping make one. Considering this was an “extracurricular” and that we aren’t big crafters in the first place, I didn’t push it. I’m careful in choosing my battles!
4 year old Lilla was very excited and ended up being my only helper. I let her choose the colors and then I painted it while she watched. When Lowell (9 years old) saw the finished product he was a little more interested. “Wow! You did a great job, Mom! Look at our Paschal Candle!”
It does not take much to impress a 9 year old boy! I do not have an artistic bone in my body and the candle is a far cry from the beautiful Paschal candles that grace our churches. I’m sure your Paschal candles will be much more beautiful than ours!
I share that with you all to let you know you are not alone if your well laid liturgical celebrations are greeted with a lack of enthusiasm. Life is usually a far cry from Pinterest perfect!
What is a Paschal Candle?
I’ve heard about Paschal Candles, but they aren’t necessarily mentioned or talked about a lot, unless you go to the Easter Vigil. Making our own candle was a great way for us ALL to learn about this custom.
Paschal comes from the Hebrew word “Pesach” or Passover. Sometimes a Paschal Candle is also referred to as an Easter Candle because it is blessed at the Easter Vigil and subsequently lit throughout the Easter season.
What’s on a Paschal Candle?
There are 4 elements to the Paschal candle.
- Alpha and Omega reflecting God as the beginning and the end
- The current year
- 5 grains of incense symbolizing the 5 wounds of Jesus
How to Make a Paschal Candle
(You can buy Paschal Candle kits, but I was sure we could make it at home for a lot less. Our only purchase was the candle which I picked up at Hobby Lobby for 50%. The total cost of this project was $4! You spend a little more and get a much larger candle, but I was feeling particularly cheap the day I made my purchase and opted for a 6 inch candle.)
Supplies for making a Paschal Candle:
1.Talk about the symbolism behind the Paschal Candle with your kids.
2.Show them some pictures online and brainstorm your design (remember to include the 4 elements).
3.Sketch out your design with pencil and paper.
4.Choose your colors and paint your design on your candle. (We had to do this in several stages allowing the paint to dry so we could paint adjacent to or on top of the paint.)
5. Cut a bit of wax out of the candle with the end of a scissors or knife and then push the cloves in.
6.Some DIY Paschal candle makers “seal” there candle with a clear coat. I wasn’t sure how this would burn, so we skipped this step.
Ta-Da! A Paschal candle ready for decorating your Easter feast table! Let me know if you make a Paschal candle and how it goes!
You’ll enjoy these reads too!
Easter Feast Table (with a liturgically appropriate book list)