2/2, “Candlemas Day”

(No, don’t cue Bill Murray although the movie is great. Today, you are permitted to take down and remove your Christmas tree. Please have a vacuum handy while doing this.)

800px_COLOURBOX2536791There it is, now lit. It took longer to light this time because the wick is lower and I just can’t seem to reach deep enough inside to relight it.  But I did.

The house is still heated, I can’t rely on that little flame to flame forth a comfortable, warm winter home. Heck, if I quickly stood up right now I think it’d go out.  Oh, wait. Forget that. I just tried it, and it didn’t go out; this little, small flame on my kitchen table with a supposed spruce scent that “fills the room” as the box falsely claimed. I didn’t buy the candle for the scent although a nice scent would be nice.

It flickers, ever so slowly as it tries to keep itself alive.  The heating wax surrounding it allows the tiny flame to stay lit. Is it enough to turn off the kitchen light? I’m not even trying because it’s a silly question. If it can’t heat, it certainly can’t illuminate.
I like the teeny flame because it seems to show everything when it barely shows anything. If folks walked into my kitchen now, they would not say, “Oh, what a beautiful flame you have going here.” It wouldn’t be noticed. It would remain an unsaid piece in the room.  None would smell the scent as the box promised, and our conversation would move to topics that interest them.

But no one else is here. It is just me and a single, miniature version of those real flames that surround a veterans memorial or a park’s statue.  My tiny flame doesn’t mark great and grand events but only the passing thoughts that pass my mind as quickly as they enter.  Random, varied; none solved or resolved. Perhaps a few reenactments of a personal play that cannot be re-acted run through my mind but it seems productive to try even if the reproduction turns out the same way. It’s my single flame. I can have an opening and closing night in one hour if I want to.

I considered a larger candle, hence a larger flame but thought, “Why?” as I stare at my small version.

Wax builds up as the flame continues which can pose problems for the tiny thing that neither brightens or scents as the box described.  The surrounding wax can keep the tiny flame vibrant and alive, but the same wax can also drown it. Without careful observation on my part, the wax may extinguish my undersized flame. Interesting how the needed wax can also become the drowning wax. I need to keep the minute flame lit every minute I observe it.

One flame. No scent in spite of the box description. No one around to comment, criticize, weigh or measure my kitchen flame or my momentary thoughts.  Watching the heat-filled wax build up now, so it doesn’t triumph.

It’s my night. It is my single flame. I don’t mind that I miss the scent which the box assured. It’s my flame. And I enjoy it every single night.


single flame:  the pilot light of our lives that keeps burning through all times of life.
scent:  the promises of life are not always realized, real or imagined.
wax: those who support and encourage you keep the flame alive and those who intrude to overwhelm the single flame.
re-enactments: upon reflection, we try to reshape made decisions, unmade decisions, missed opportunities and opportunities that went sour as though reenacting them again will change the outcome.
single flame:  what gets us out of bed in the morning and lights the day ahead, allows a good night sleep to prepare us for the next day.


(the following is from http://projectbritain.com/year/candlemas.html)

This ancient festival marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox.

Candlemas is a traditional Christian festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus. On this day, Christians remember the presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple. Forty days after the birth of a Jewish boy, it was the custom to take him to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God by his thankful parents.

In pre-Christian times, this day was known as the ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the increase strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring.

How did the 2nd February come to be called Candlemas?

It was the day of the year when all the candles, that were used in the church during the coming year, were brought into church and a blessing was said over them – so it was the Festival Day (or ‘mass’) of the Candles.

Candles were important in those days not only because there was no electric lights. Some people thought they gave protection against plague and illness and famine. For Christians, they were (and still are) a reminder of something even more important. Before Jesus came to earth, it was as if everyone was ‘in the dark’. People often felt lost and lonely. Afraid. As if they were on their own, with no one to help them. Then came Jesus with his message that he is with his followers always ready to help and comfort them. As if he is a guiding light to them in the darkness. Christians often talk of Jesus as ‘the light of the World’ – and candles are lit during church services to remind Christians of this.

Weather Proverbs

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won’t come again.

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o the winter’s to come and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o the winter’s gane at Yule.

Farmer’s Proverbs

‘A farmer should, on Candlemas Day, Have half his corn and half his hay.’

‘On Candlemas Day if the thorns hang adrop,
You can be sure of a good pea crop.’

German Proverb

The badger peeps out of his hole on Candlemas Day, and, if he finds snow, walks abroad; but if he sees the sun shining he draws back into his hole.

In America, the same story is told about the groundhog or woodchuck.


Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS. All available in paperback or Kindle
on Amazon.com
“Soulful Muse,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons of
Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter – a great seasonal gift
  “Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
“Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of letters written by my cats over twenty years
“Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
This entry was posted in Candle, Spirituality and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 2/2, “Candlemas Day”

  1. mdelgado1@wi.rr.com says:

    Thank you for this. Mary


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.