St. Mary gets new Easter candle

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 11, 2009

Natchez — On Wednesday, April 8, the Rev. David O’Connor, pastor of St. Mary Basilica accepted the new Easter candle for this Easter celebrations from John Kerwin, a member of the congregation. Kerwin, with the assistance of the Knights of Columbus, coordinated the pouring of the Easter candle.

“The Easter candle, also known as the ‘Paschal Candle,’ is five feet long, four inches in diameter, and will be mounted on a stand that is five feet in height,” O’Connor said.

Ruth McWilliams, parish program coordinator said this year the vigil service will begin at 8 pm. At the beginning of the service, the church is in complete darkness, and the newly-blessed and lighted Easter candle leads the congregation into the church. The candle is seen as the symbol of the light of Christ coming into a world of darkness. Then all the congregation members light their individual candles from the large candle and fill the church with light.

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The candle has a Celtic motif that is highlighted in bold colors of blue, red and gold. It features the symbols for God — Alpha and Omega— for the Holy Spirit, and for Jesus as Lamb of God arranged around a Celtic cross. It also has the symbol of a Claddagh ring.

In addition to the Easter vigil service, St. Mary has Easter Sunday services at 7:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., Holy Family Church has at 8 am service, and Assumption church has an 8:30 a.m. service.