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Author Topic: saving the Paschal flame?!  (Read 2069 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tikhon.of.Colorado
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« on: August 31, 2010, 08:32:32 AM »

as a convert, I have a question about a tradition that's quite big in Orthodoxy.  why would someone SAVE the paschal flame? 

if you do it, how?!  so you hold it with your legs as you drive, put the candle in a cup holder?  what whould you to if it happened to go out?! 

I've been thinking of starting this practice, as it's a beautiful idea (and I have a candle that would be PERFECT!)  but why exactly would someone do this?   

is the flame blessed, like blessed Paschal eggs or flowers?

thanks!

Christ is in our midst! Grin
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2010, 08:45:48 AM »

Cup holder or have someone else in he car keep it.
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 09:04:54 AM »

In our family, we use one of those 7 day candles, you know the ones in the large red colored bottle. It just fits in our car's cup holder and  travel our 55 miles home with no spills or other issues.

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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 09:42:02 AM »

I've seen people at my parish using storm lanterns.
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 02:03:03 PM »

When I got the Paschal flame home, I blew out the pilot light in my gas stove and lit it with the Paschal flame.
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 05:39:39 PM »

When I got the Paschal flame home, I blew out the pilot light in my gas stove and lit it with the Paschal flame.

wow!  what an idea!  you could keep the flame all year round, without any hazard of it burning your home down!  how, though, do you feel about cooking with it?
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 06:05:51 PM »

Christ is in our midst! Grin

He Is, and always shall be.

as a convert, I have a question about a tradition that's quite big in Orthodoxy.  why would someone SAVE the paschal flame? 

It's not a life-or-death (physically or spiritually) matter, but a nice tradition that reflects what we believe about our roles as Christians in the world: shine Christ's Light to all, a Light that bursts forth from the tomb, a Light that illumines all.  We try our best, both in the Church and in the home, to keep that light burning spiritually, and in both places we also try to do that physically as a reminder of the spiritual pledge and task.  The pious practice is only reflecting the ecclesiastical: in our parishes, we try our best to keep the oil lamp burning before the tabernacle all year - a light that is then used on Pascha to represent the Resurrection to all.

if you do it, how?! 

I'll echo what Thomas said: my family has always used a glass ("7-day") candle - no mess.  However, if at all possible, have someone other than the driver be responsible for the flame.

I've been thinking of starting this practice, as it's a beautiful idea (and I have a candle that would be PERFECT!)

Glory to God!  Do it if it is an aid, and not a distraction.

is the flame blessed, like blessed Paschal eggs or flowers?

Well, not exactly - yes, in that it is blessed by its use, but the flame isn't somehow different because of its use on Pascha (if you want an example of that, check out the various stories here or elsewhere on the 'net of the Paschal Light in Jerusalem, which for a period of time does not consume the candles - or anything else - in its path).  The flower and egg are not radically altered, just sanctified, which is why we treat them with respect - eating the egg (not using it for animal feed, or other use), admiring the flower; and if either dies or spoils, then they're buried (or burned), not thrown in the trash.
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 02:27:18 AM »

Make sure the candle is 100 % bees wax ,No tallow candles allowed....Thats How I was raised to believe in Holy Orthodoxy bees wax all the way.......... Grin
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2010, 03:38:50 AM »

Make sure the candle is 100 % bees wax ,No tallow candles allowed....Thats How I was raised to believe in Holy Orthodoxy bees wax all the way.......... Grin

Don't care about that, trevor72694.
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2010, 07:37:50 AM »

Make sure the candle is 100 % bees wax ,No tallow candles allowed....Thats How I was raised to believe in Holy Orthodoxy bees wax all the way.......... Grin
Don't care about that, trevor72694.

I think he was making a joke.  Hence the Grin
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 09:23:28 AM »

When I got the Paschal flame home, I blew out the pilot light in my gas stove and lit it with the Paschal flame.

wow!  what an idea!  you could keep the flame all year round, without any hazard of it burning your home down!  how, though, do you feel about cooking with it?

Just think, food cooked with the Holy Flame comes with a blessing.
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2010, 10:06:47 AM »

I presume this tradition varies, because I've never seen people take their paschal candles home. Rather they're blown out as we file back into the church, and the ushers have boxes for us to toss the stumps into.

I have heard of people using the soot from their lit paschal candles to mark a cross on the lintel of their front door, which is kind of cool.
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2010, 10:07:18 AM »

Fr. George, all stashko's posts end with Grin so it's not necessarily clear if it's a joke or not.  Grin
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2010, 10:25:02 AM »

Fr. George, all stashko's posts end with Grin so it's not necessarily clear if it's a joke or not.  Grin

No joke seriously...The Pascha Flame As i was rased and taught is Lit on Bees wax candles.....Even in church the candles we light are bees wax ...Tallow not allowed..... Has this Changed in Some Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches......curious....Srbs use Bees wax.....as we recieved it from our Mother church In Constantinople,,, Huh Huh Huh


Continued......Even in our homes bees wax Candle's before Holy Ikona's or olive oil Lamps  never vegetable oil or tallot .....
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2010, 10:47:29 AM »

I like the Huh Huh Huh 's, stashko. Grin
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2010, 10:52:29 AM »

I agree that beeswax candles are the preferred and traditional candle, you may find that they are difficult to get in some parts of the country and may be very difficult to impossible for those who travel distances (50-100 miles) to get to church and return home with the holy fire.

My spiritual father ( a very conservative traditionalist monk) was the one who directed me to use the 7 day candle to transport the flame. From it are lit the oil lampadas and all other candles (including small beeswax vigil candles we purchase at church to burn at home) through out the year. I know some Orthodox who use a Kerosene lantern to transport the paschal flame home.

As I understand it, when the Holy Fire is sent out from Jerusalem annually to the major Patriarchates, it is flown in an airplane contained in a special lamp specifically designed to transport it to those patriarchates. This obviously is a new tradition, because a special container was designed and it is flown within hours of the event to the patriarchates.Anciently there were no airplanes.

I believe the real goal of taking home the paschal Flame is the spiritual blessing and import the paschal flame has in blessing the home of the Orthodox, perhaps someday someone will invent a better way for us to carry the holy fire 50 -100 miles to get it safely , still lit to our homes. In the meantime I will follow my spiritual father's direction and continue to receive the blessing of the Paschal Flame in my home throughout the year.

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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2010, 10:57:19 AM »

 Grin
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2010, 07:00:40 AM »

In the western vigil, the flame was carried from the fire to the Paschal candle by a taper on a reed.  Later, this developed into a twin-pronged taper, so that if one candle blew out before reaching the candle, at least there was another. Eventually, it became a three-pronged taper and there is all sorts of symbolism attached to it - the Trinity, the third-day Resurrection - when actually the original purpose was purely practical.  Perhaps you could borrow the idea.  take a number of containers with the flame, so if one goes out you have back-up.
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2012, 09:31:33 AM »

How long do people generally save the flame? I have mine in a lantern that has been going since the wee hours of Sunday morning. However, at some point I am going to take a vacation and will be unable to refuel.
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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2012, 10:11:17 AM »

Never heard of this. Have I missed something or is this some kind of Greek local custom?
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2012, 11:24:48 AM »

I like this custom, but for logistical reasons I've never been able to bring the Paschal flame home.  So what I do is keep my candle lit until communion time, then blow it out and stash the stump in my handbag, so that when I get home I can put it in my icon corner.
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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2012, 11:38:03 AM »

We bring the light home in a storm lantern. We have a vigil light, which is a wick on a cork "floater" in olive oil. We keep that lit and, when we need to change out the wick, we light a candle with the flame and then use that flame to re-light the new wick.
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« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2012, 11:42:45 AM »

How long do people generally save the flame? I have mine in a lantern that has been going since the wee hours of Sunday morning. However, at some point I am going to take a vacation and will be unable to refuel.


As someone noted earlier, blow out the pilot lights in your stove and oven and light them with the flame. 

That's what I've been doing, although we have last year's flame still going in our stovetop because I rode my scooter to church this past year and I couldn't find our storm lantern  Angry 
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« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2012, 11:56:49 AM »

How long do people generally save the flame? I have mine in a lantern that has been going since the wee hours of Sunday morning. However, at some point I am going to take a vacation and will be unable to refuel.


As someone noted earlier, blow out the pilot lights in your stove and oven and light them with the flame. 

That's what I've been doing, although we have last year's flame still going in our stovetop because I rode my scooter to church this past year and I couldn't find our storm lantern  Angry 
Man, that's a good for a new Herman pic.
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2012, 11:59:06 AM »

How long do people generally save the flame? I have mine in a lantern that has been going since the wee hours of Sunday morning. However, at some point I am going to take a vacation and will be unable to refuel.


As someone noted earlier, blow out the pilot lights in your stove and oven and light them with the flame. 

That's what I've been doing, although we have last year's flame still going in our stovetop because I rode my scooter to church this past year and I couldn't find our storm lantern  Angry 
Man, that's a good for a new Herman pic.

Hardly.  My RC family grew up doing this.  I always thought it was just a Bavarian thing.
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« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2012, 01:45:17 PM »

As someone noted earlier, blow out the pilot lights in your stove and oven and light them with the flame. 

That would be a neat trick with my electric range.
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« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2012, 01:52:33 PM »

As someone noted earlier, blow out the pilot lights in your stove and oven and light them with the flame. 

That would be a neat trick with my electric range.


Ah!  You probably don't have gas heat, either, so that's out.

Since keeping an open flame lit 24/7/365 is probably out, too, seems like you're SOL.  Sad
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« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2012, 02:14:06 PM »

Christ is risen!

When we lived in Istanbul, my parents used to hire a taxi cab to bring the Pascal candle from church and then come into the house singing Christ is risen..." My brother and I always looked forward to waking up to that and then braking the fast with the entire family--warm milk, eggs, ham and Easter bread. Come to think of it, I just realized that it took much courage for them to do that in that overwhelmingly Muslim city. Memory eternal, especially for my mother who was killed by a drunk driver on Holy Thursday.
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2012, 02:17:43 PM »

As someone noted earlier, blow out the pilot lights in your stove and oven and light them with the flame. 

That would be a neat trick with my electric range.


Ah!  You probably don't have gas heat, either, so that's out.

Since keeping an open flame lit 24/7/365 is probably out, too, seems like you're SOL.  Sad

Probably. I would love to have gas, but the lines don't run to my house, and most modern ranges use an arc instead of a pilot. Otherwise, I'd use my parent's range.

Bummer.
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« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2012, 03:24:58 PM »

Well, I had that flame going since the wee hours of Pascha morning, but it finally went out yesterday afternoon after a gust of wind put it out.  Cry
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« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2012, 03:33:54 PM »


Mine is still going!  Smiley

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« Reply #31 on: April 23, 2012, 04:14:35 PM »


Mine is still going!  Smiley



Lucky you. Mine went out and I didn't fix it.  Sad I think next year, I'll get one of those metal lantern things they have.
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« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2012, 04:22:45 PM »

We don't save the paschal flame at my parish. As Father opens the doors and begins singing the Paschal Canon, the head usher dryly announces: "Everyone put your candles in this box." (Probably to confine Waxmageddon to the Narthex and not spread the love throughout the whole church.)

It sounds like a lovely tradition though.
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« Reply #33 on: April 23, 2012, 04:34:51 PM »

I sort of smile every time I come to church after Pascha and see little dribbles of wax here and there. And I remember the ones I 'zinged' myself with, because I was so happy singing outside the church, I forgot to move the wax cup...  Wink Cheesy
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« Reply #34 on: April 23, 2012, 05:03:23 PM »

It's nice to keep the flame going all year. As mentioned earlier. We usually just burn a mark on the front entrance of our home with a carbon imprint of the sign of the cross from the holy light and than blow it out. That brings to mind an incident from a couple of years ago. I left a lit candle in my car by mistake. My wife had the light as well. Not realizing I left mine in the car. It was a miracle the car didn't go up in flames. The candle didn't even burn down one inch when I discovered it the next afternoon. I'm still left perplexed because I usually don't do stupid things like that. If anybody knows. Those candles burn down pretty quick. In this case I believe that the windows were shut and choked down the oxygen. Anyway you look at it I was lucky or blessed. Try explaining that to the insurance company. LOL   BTW: the pilot idea is a very good one. Unfortunately most stoves today are manufactured with electronic spark ignition.
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« Reply #35 on: April 23, 2012, 05:06:21 PM »

It would be kinda cool if parishioners could "take turns" caring for the flame, getting it from each other after a day or so.

Of course then the guy who finally messes up gets jeered.  Cheesy
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« Reply #36 on: April 23, 2012, 07:07:31 PM »

We bring the light home in a storm lantern. We have a vigil light, which is a wick on a cork "floater" in olive oil. We keep that lit and, when we need to change out the wick, we light a candle with the flame and then use that flame to re-light the new wick.

Exactly what both of my grandmothers used before their icons. The "kandili"  preserved the Paschal Flame and was kept alight continually until the ninth hour of the next Holy Friday when it was extinguished denoting the death of Christ in the Cross - to be relighted anew at Pascha.
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« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2012, 08:46:45 PM »

Xristos Anesti!

At our church, we usually have a big feasting party after the Paschal services. How would be able to keep the flame that long without any problems?
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« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2012, 10:56:41 PM »


We usually light a little votive from the candle we were holding. 

Another larger votive, in a lantern enclosure waits nearby.  When we are ready to go home, we transfer the flame to the yet unlit votive, close the door and off we go. 

Why do we not just keep the first votive?  Because there's so much molten wax that the slightest bump can cause the wax to swell and drown the flame.  By transferring the flame to a new wick, ensures that there won't be enough molten (liquid) to slosh and douse the flame before we get home.

The enclosed lantern also helps to ensure the wind doesn't get it.

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Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
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« Reply #39 on: April 23, 2012, 11:58:14 PM »

When I got the Paschal flame home, I blew out the pilot light in my gas stove and lit it with the Paschal flame.


excellent idea!
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« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2012, 11:59:14 PM »

Xristos Anesti!

At our church, we usually have a big feasting party after the Paschal services. How would be able to keep the flame that long without any problems?

Glass 7 day candles
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« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2012, 11:59:38 PM »

or glass 6 or 5 day candles
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« Reply #42 on: April 24, 2012, 12:02:44 AM »

We don't save the paschal flame at my parish. As Father opens the doors and begins singing the Paschal Canon, the head usher dryly announces: "Everyone put your candles in this box." (Probably to confine Waxmageddon to the Narthex and not spread the love throughout the whole church.)

It sounds like a lovely tradition though.

Yes but all other candles are lit in the church from that flame.  You can light glass vigil candle from the one you are carrying before blown out or go and get from candles in stands/sand or lampadas and is same light.   
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« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2012, 12:05:49 AM »

Christ is risen!

When we lived in Istanbul, my parents used to hire a taxi cab to bring the Pascal candle from church and then come into the house singing Christ is risen..." My brother and I always looked forward to waking up to that and then braking the fast with the entire family--warm milk, eggs, ham and Easter bread. Come to think of it, I just realized that it took much courage for them to do that in that overwhelmingly Muslim city. Memory eternal, especially for my mother who was killed by a drunk driver on Holy Thursday.


To them both Memory eternal, Christ is Risen
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« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2012, 12:10:25 AM »

Oh man this thread is old.  Sorry guys for the several posts, although it wasn't me who resurrected this thread (all pun intended).   laugh
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