The 2012 Paschal Candle: “O truly blessed night, when things of heaven are wed to those of earth.” The deep blue band studded with stars for the top border of the design represents the “blessed night” of the Easter Vigil and our prayer that this candle will “overcome the darkness of this night.” The cross on the front of the candle is similar to the cross inside the tabernacle. It is the cross that Jesus bore on Good Friday that allows us to “Exult” on the blessed night, for Christ has risen. Through the cross we obtain eternal life, when heaven is wed to things of earth.
“accept this candle, a solemn offering, the work of bees and of your servants’ hands” The bottom border of the design contains bees and vines to help call to mind all of God’s creation including the work of bees. It is through our cooperation with God’s creation that we are able to create this beautiful candle as the symbol of the light of Christ, rising in glory, scattering the darkness of our hearts and minds. Pope Benedict’s tells us in his Easter Vigil homily that “The cooperation of the living community of believers in the Church in some way resembles the activity of bees. It builds up the community of light. So the candle serves as a summons to us to become involved in the community of the Church, whose raison d’être is to let the light of Christ shine upon the world.”
“The ladder which Jacob saw is the Church, which has its birth from the earth but its way of life in heaven.” St. Bede the Venerable. The wedding of heaven and earth is illustrated with an image of Jacob’s ladder on the back side of the Paschal candle. What joy we have in knowing that Jesus died and rose from the dead and is now fully present to us in the Eucharist.