Why Lighting Candles Can Help Us Remember Our Dearly Departed And Help Us Through Grief
Lighting candles is one of the traditions that people across the world do when someone they love passes away. And whether there’s a special occasion or not (e.g., birth and death anniversaries), burning memorial candles is a meaningful, solemn way of remembering the departed.
The history of memorial candles dates back to ancient civilizations. Did you know that the word “funeral” itself comes from the Latin “funeralis,” which means torch?
Even back then, death and light were concepts that have been related to one another.
For many ancient cultures, fires are considered to be effective in warding off evil spirits. Candles are also regarded as a light that could guide the deceased’s soul as they sojourn in the afterlife.
Lighting Candles Today
In Mexico, the Day of the Dead holiday is marked by building altars where pictures of the deceased and lit-up candles are placed. In Japan, there’s a celebration called Feast of Lanterns.
In China, a wake lasts for a week and candles are placed around the deceased’s body. It’s also Jewish custom to light a special candle for a full day during every death anniversary of a deceased loved one.
Today, lighting memorial candles have taken on an evolved meaning. Apart from the historical significance it carries, this practice is also seen as a way of extending a prayer for the deceased.
Remembering The Deceased Through Candles
Lighting memorial candles for the deceased doesn’t have to be spiritual. You can perform such a solemn act just to commemorate the life of the deceased.
When you light a candle, you’re taking the time to pause for a moment and recall the memories of your loved one. Because candlelight has a calming effect, it gives you the opportune time to reflect and process your emotions. This is especially important during the immediate days following the death of a loved one — when grief is typically at its peak. The flame that the candles give off can increase self-awareness and reduce the negative emotions that you feel, helping you attain a meditative state.
The scent of a burning candle also gives off soothing vibes. Its calming properties can enhance your experience of reliving the times you spent with the deceased. In addition, many experts claim that certain scents can trigger happy and emotional memories that can uplift your mood. So whenever you’re overcome with grief, turning to a memorial candle can remind you of the memorable moments you shared with your loved one who’s already gone.
When lighting candles to remember a deceased loved one, you can make the occasion more purposeful by using photos or reciting poetry. This activity can be done individually or as a group.
Other Benefits of Lighting Candles
Lit-up candles are not only helpful in remembering the departed and in overcoming grief.
Some studies show how lighting candles can boost one’s immune system. It can also provide a more restful sleep, helping you have adequate energy and improved concentration the following day.
The calming ability of this activity can also regulate the body’s hormone levels, which, in turn, improves the way you function — physically, emotionally, and mentally speaking.
Are you looking for memorial candles that you can give as sympathy gifts or you can use for prayer or meditation? Check out what we have for you at Remember Me Gifts online today.