My Dad would have been 85 this month.
He was not a religious man, but since visiting the stunning cathedral in Milan in 1998, I always light a candle for him on his birthday, on Father’s Day, and at Christmas.
If we go on a field trip and visit a church, if they are available we’ll light candles for both our Dads. It is our way of showing we are thinking of them always, even when we are away from home.Although in the Catholic Church the lighting of a candle represents a prayer for someone, we don’t ‘pray’. We sit quietly in the pews and think about our departed loved ones, the good times and our hopes that they are in a better place, happy, and free of pain and worry. We have a vision of the two old boys having got together over a bottle of my Dad’s home made wine, chuckling as they watch over us.
I feel it would be wrong of me to quote from the vast number of sources about the significance of lighting a candle as I am not religious. Neither do I knock anyone’s Faith or Beliefs. One thing I liked about the late comedian Dave Allen was that he always finished his shows with ‘May your God be with you.’
I believe there is something “after this life”, something we cannot possibly imagine, and that our time here is just a stepping stone from one place to another, gaining knowledge and hopefully wisdom on our journey. I am comfortable with that.
The flickering light of a candle is so fragile, yet it can be seen as a beacon in the dark for a lost or wandering soul.
The time it takes for the candle to die varies, as our life spans do. If for the duration it has given hope and guidance to just one person, it has served its purpose. By lighting another from the dying flame, darkness will forever be kept at bay.