We are still persecuted, Help me to save my wife. The rite of lights and candles is one of the peculiar features of Orthodox worship. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church widely uses lights and candles during daily prayer, Eucharistic Liturgy, and Bible reading, on the altar and before the icons.
The Orthodox Church uses lights and candles due to their deep symbolic meaning and spiritual importance. This is a divine command given by the gracious God, Who said, “Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good.” (Genesis 1:3-4); In addition, the importance of using lights is practice since the time of the Early Church. “There were many lamps where they were gathered.” (Acts 20:8)
First and foremost, the Church needs to be filled with lights mainly because it is the sacred indwelling place of God, Who is Light. “I am the Light of the world.” (John. 8:12; 1:5); “God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1 John. 1:5)
The Church is called “the golden lamp stand,” as St. John the Evangelist saw Christ in a vision amidst seven golden lampstands - the Church. “The seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” (Revelation 1:20)
Prefigured in the Old Testament in Bethel, the sacred dwelling place of God, the Church is understood as heaven on earth. “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28:17) Therefore, as the stars illuminate the heaven, so do the lights and candles in the Church.
The Church remains full of light since the Tabernacle and Sanctuary were filled with lights and the lamps were lit with pure olive oil under the supervision of the Levite priests and were never put out. (Exodus 27:20-21)
The lamps, which are lighted by oil, have a deeper spiritual meaning. The oil used to anoint priests and kings in the Old Testament symbolizes the Holy Spirit. For instance, we read: “When Samuel anointed David, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power.” (1 Samuel 16:13).
In addition, the candles that we lit in the Church are made of oil, which shows our anointment with the Holy Spirit and symbolizes His gracious works within our hearts (1 John 2:20, 27). In particular, the constant burning shows uninterrupted watchfulness in keeping the heart abiding by the marvelous deeds of the Holy Spirit within our lives.
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