Lighted Candle Placed in Window
|Originally posted by Imagyne
or how about this one...
how come at christmas lots of people here in new england just put single candles in their windows.... I dont get it..
A distinctive feature of Christmas decorations is the very large candle placed near the front window and lighted on Christmas Eve. According to one belief, the candle long served as a symbol of welcome to Mary and Joseph who sought shelter in vain on that first Christmas Eve. The ceremony of lighting the candle is one of simple ancient rituals during which prayers are said for the departed and the privilege of striking the match is usually given to a daughter named Mary. (Another tradition is that the candle be lighted by the youngest member of the family and snuffed out only by someone named Mary).
This flickering symbol also served as a signal in times past to any priest seeking shelter and protection that he was welcome in this house and that it was safe to say Mass there.
Candle lighting at this time can also be traced back to antiquity, to the time when ancient Romans lighted candles at the midwinter festival to signify the return of the sun's light after the winter soltice.