Most of the churches in France seem to have candles somewhere with a little shrine in which to light them and the same is true of the Tours Cathedral. I like the symbolism of lights as a symbol of warmth and hope, but since I am not very familiar with Catholicism, I wondered about the symbolism behind this ritual and whether the candles were usually lit to show repentance, to honour a certain saint or as representation of a prayer. This little prayer that accompanied the candles in this cathedral helped me understand the tradition of candle lighting a little better:
May this candle that I burn be a light
So that you may enlighten me in my difficulties and my decisions
That it may burn
So that you may burn away all egoism, greed and impurity within me
I can not stay long here in your church.
This light that I leave to burn,
It’s a part of me that I want offer to you.
Help me to pray as I go about my daily activities.
I enjoy lighting candles, as I connect them with this same notion of light and purity. The next time I light one of my candles as I sit down to dinner, I will reflect a little on what it means to be a light to others and a source of warmth within their lives.