A Visual Meditation on the Unbleached Beeswax of the Requiem

On only the second day of this site's existence we spoke of some of the reasons behind symbols like unbleached beeswax candles for Requiem Masses. Therein we noted:

"The matter is, to some degree, one of common sense. In the liturgical sphere of the Western tradition, whites and golds are festal in nature and association, while more sombre times take on a more sombre tones as manifest in violet and black. (This bright and dark element is also reflected within the Eastern liturgical tradition.) It is not a far reach then to understand how this applies also to bleached versus unbleached beeswax candles; the former taking on the bright associations and the latter the more sombre tonalities...

"Fr. Edwin Ryan commented on it in his work, Candles in the Roman Rite:

The employment on occasions of sorrow (the Tenebrae, funerals, etc.) of unbleached rather than bleached candles is evidently fitting, since the sombre tones of unbleached wax harmonize with the mournful ceremony, while bleached wax, being far higher in the tone scale, would intrude a note of joy.
With that consideration put back before you, here are some visual meditations on the use of unbleached beeswax candles for All Souls and for the Requiem in general.

May this powerful tradition continue to see rediscovery in our time, as the value of our liturgical tradition and the wisdom contained therein is similarly rediscovered.

Join in the conversation on our Facebook page.