C is for Candles

The Princess Diana version of Candle in the Wind is listed as the second best-selling single of all time,

candleWhen you are not very good at crafts, it’s nice to actually find a small niche in which you are not horrible. What I liked about candle making, which I did a few times when I was eight to ten years old, is that it was so relatively easy, even I couldn’t screw it up. Thank you, paraffin.

When I briefly attended a Unitarian church in a city near Albany, I left in part because they actually had a meeting/debate about whether or not to use candles. The argument against was that they were “papist”, too much in the Roman Catholic tradition, though I was a long-standing Protestant had lit plenty of church candles over the years.

One of the traditions of a lot of churches, including the last two, is to light candles and sing Silent Night by candlelight, before blowing them out, and singing Joy to the World as the lights come on. My previous church used to save all the used candles, and melt them down, to add to what became one massive candle. Last I saw it, it was well over a meter tall and weighed dozens of kilograms.

The Daughter loves lighting a candle when we have dinner, for no occasion at all.

Elton John performed a song called Candle in the Wind [LISTEN] in 1973, in honor of the late Marilyn Monroe, who had died a decade earlier. The tune appeared on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. The song was reworked in 1997 to honor Diana, Princess of Wales.; that single reached No. 1 in many countries, listed as the second best-selling single of all time, after White Christmas. LISTEN to the performance at the funeral, a recording of which I own.

Finally, from the musical-turned-movie Rent, Light my candle [LISTEN]


ABC Wednesday, Round 15

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

20 thoughts on “C is for Candles”

  1. I love candles, too, but usually in fall and winter. They give such a warm, homey glow in the gloom that rain brings. “Candle in the Wind” is such a sad song but very memorable in honour of those two lovely ladies. Thank you to Elton John for that.

    abcw team

  2. I will never forget Elton singing that song in tribute for Diana- I loved it before that though..it’s just a good song. My experience with candles, sadly, is a ritual for when the electricity goes out, which is associated in my mind with bad weather. Thus, I am no fan of candles.

  3. My home is full of candles and as soon as the weather goes colder and the nights draw in the candles are lit. I like to put perfumed candles around my bath tub, when having a bubbly spa bath…. sooooh relaxing.
    Candles in church are vital to display ‘the light of the world’.
    Candles play an important part when celebrating the sacred Eucharist, in the high Anglican Church to which I belong
    The song, ‘Candle in the Wind’ was a fitting tribute to two very special ladies, I’ll never know how Elton John didn’t fall to bits when he performed it at Princess Diana’s funeral.
    Poor Marilyn Monroe too!
    We’ll never really know what caused her sudden demise, she was treated very badly by some very famous people ???

    Interesting stuff Roger,


  4. I really enjoy candles and candle light services. My niece has made a little business from making and selling candles. I’m not crafty myself…

  5. As you know I’m originally from the Netherlands, and candles are used much in the home throughout the year, to bring atmosphere (light, fragrance, warmth!

  6. My wife and I love candles, so we light them regularly. I’ve heard silly arguments at churches, but never about lighting candles or not… HE is the light of the world. As to Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is one of my favorites and love Candle In the Wind too.

  7. One of our Christmas Programs at our church we had hundreds of candles on the stage—just a glorious sight.

  8. Saving and melting used candles to make one massive candle is a good idea. I love lighting candles.

  9. My Dad had the 45 of the “Live in Australia” version of “Candle in the Wind.” I never made candles, but I do love going into candle stores and just smelling them. We usually have a scented candle lit in here.

  10. I’ve always thought there was something very magical about candlelight. It’s one of the things I love when the power goes out!

  11. “Candles are Papist” (Does the confused-dog head tilt).

    I knew Jewish folk growing up who used candles a lot, not just at Hanukkah but also as part of the Sabbath celebration and to remember the dead. And I had a Hindu friend in high school who used candles in some celebration. And, as you said, Protestants use them a lot. I sometimes light them at home for totally non-religious reasons.

    The church I attend for Christmas eve service (my parents’ church) does the candlelight service with Silent Night. It’s one of my favorite, one of the most moving to me, and one of the most memorable parts of the service.

  12. One of my vivid memories as a child is going to candle lit carol service every year, magical.

  13. I love the flicker of candle light. When I taught school, we used to make candles for Christmas presents. It was a lot of work, but the kids used milk cartons from snack time made excellent moulds. – Margy

  14. Tomorrow is our National grieving day, and we are asked to lit a candle. Last week, I had problem trying to post to your blog.

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