Candle light for mourning

Why do we light a candle for someone who died

What is the significance of lighting a candle when someone has passed over? Lighting a candle to honour a loved one is a ritual that has been around for thousands of years, it brings peace, comfort and connection and give quiet reflection to remember your loved one.

“The flame both defies and defines the darkness” – Anne Frank.

The ritual of lighting a candle when someone has passed is to show that their memory lives on. Candle light vigils are held in communities when people gather to remember a cause, show support and mourn together.

Candles in different religions and cultures

The Macedonians would light a candle for 40 days to ward off evil spirits. Candles are used in Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism and the Jewish faith. In the Jewish faith a Yahrzeit candle is burned for 24 hours on the anniversary of someone’s death. In Buddhism the light represents the light of the Buddhas teaching.

Pagans used to bury their dead with unlit candles so they could light their way.

The word funeral was derived from Latin funus, which means”torch.” torches and lights at a funeral could guide the departed soul to its eternal existence.

Why white candles

White candles are mostly used at funerals to represent purity of the soul.

Digital candles

You can light a ‘digital candle’ on many remembrance funeral sites.

If you like this article you might like my ‘Top 3 tips for burning a candle’

Photo credits Zach Lucero & Thomas Bormans

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Jo Macfarlane is an award winning Scottish hand poured luxury scented candle maker, based in the beautiful East Neuk of Fife.

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