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Candle in the Night

Sunday, December 11, 2011

31 Days to Christmas Day 17: Lighting the Windows

"A Window Candle has been a traditional practice in many cultures. It has a variety of meanings in The United States. The practice starts with the fundamental use of fire by mankind. Throughout the history of man a campfire has represented warmth and security. It is the source of heat to cook food and warm the body and the spirit. It is the barrier between the safe and the unsafe in an untamed and unfriendly wilderness.  
Over the course of history, as we have moved our campfires into our  homes, there, the hearth has represented these very same things. The family hearth has been the center of activity because of its warmth and practical use for food preparation.  We love to watch the dancing flames as the fire's warmth flows into the deepest and coldest parts of our bodies. Sitting in front of the hearth on a cold wintry day gives us a feeling of warmth and security. It makes us feel like all is right with the world. 
In most cultures a Candle in the Window was used to signal a Family's loyalty to a loved one who was away traveling. It let that person know the family awaited their return and the hearth was warm and waiting for them1. In Ireland during times of religious persecution, the Window Candle signaled the location of religious services2.
In Colonial America a Candle in the Window was used to honor dignitaries, announce births and just plain celebrate (Hodges and Miley Theobold p. 42)3,4. Every Christmas in Williamsburg Window Candles are illuminated in each window of the homes and businesses in that community to commemorate an old fashioned Christmas (Hodges and Miley Theobold p. 38)3. Many other cultures around the world practice the Candle in the Window Tradition."
This Christmas, place a candle in your windows and let it signal to your neighbors that you are part of the celebration of Christmas.  Let it warm the deepest, coldest part of you.  Let it be a light shining to signal your loyalty to the Christ Child.  
Matthew 5:18
Therefore, let your light so shine before this world, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.


Candle in the Night



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