Denny Snarski, husband of reporter Jenny Snarski, helps their daughters Stella and Charlotte roll beeswax candles for their Advent wreath at a family event Nov. 7 at Our Lady of Lourdes, Dobie. (Catholic Herald photo by Jenny Snarski)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald staff

More than 80 people attended an Advent candle-making family event on Nov. 7 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Dobie.

Organizers Cathy Solum and Mary Willi prepared the cut wax sheets, wicks, paper dividers and instructions.
After snacks and fellowship, pastor Fr. Ed Anderson offered brief reflections on candles, and beeswax candles in particular.

Candles are to remind us of Jesus, Fr. Anderson said, with the wick symbolizing his soul, “The soul of Jesus that keeps the fire burning.”

He explained that while most liturgical candles are mass-produced from oil products, the special significance of using beeswax candles is they are natural. Fr. Anderson added how the scent of burning beeswax is unique and is reminiscent of the sweet taste of honey. In addition to the warmth and light of a candle, “We talk about the aroma of Christ … he fills our senses,” he said.

A handout explained the light of a candle signifies prayers offered in faith, as well as showing reverence and the desire to remain present in prayer even as the day and its duties continue on.

Also, worker bees who gather nectar from flowers do not play a part in the reproduction of the species; reproduction is carried on by the queen bee and drones. The “virgin” worker bees dedicate their lives to create the waxen honeycomb and represent the Virgin mother who gave birth to Christ, the pure beeswax representing the pure flesh of Christ.
All “wonderful symbolism,” Fr. Anderson noted.

Advent candle and wreath blessing kits were also given. They included the wreath prayers used at Mass each week of the Advent season.

Parents were encouraged to make time on Sundays to move through Advent, bringing attention to the wreath to talk about how the nights get longer and the days get shorter until right before Christmas.

Then, “The light of the world came in. Jesus is the light and comes into our world and the days start to get longer again,” Fr. Anderson concluded.

Participants were also invited to assemble Thanksgiving crafts. The small decorative items were then donated to local hospitals and nursing homes to adorn Thanksgiving meal trays and tables.