Friday, May 18, 2007


How many miles to Babylon?
Three score and ten.
Can I get there by candlelight?
Aye, and back again.
If your feet are nimble and light
You'll get there by candlelight.
- Nursery rhyme.
I wandered into Santa Maria yesterday. As I've mentioned before I am not religious but am sympathetic and drawn to Catholicism. I went in to contemplate, or pray - when does one become the other? - for Madeleine, mostly. Perhaps, reflecting upon the evil in the world, I wanted to remind myself that there is good and there is peace. The church was so beautiful in the quiet morning, with the sunlight streaming in via the upper windows. I think there is much truth in this from Rabbi Lionel Blue:
"Sit in an empty place of worship and let whatever happens happen. You'll need ten minutes because you'll go through layers of anxiety - 'Have I left the gas on?' Or embarrassing thoughts. Or feeling sorry for yourself. You might cry. Or feel what nonsense it all is. But at the end there is a moment of quiet."
When I went to light my candle, I noticed with some surprise that there are no longer any conventional, long, white ones or tea-lights; you have to put your offering in the slot first and then an electronic candle automatically lights for you. Sigh: a sign of the times, perhaps? I imagine tourists must have been lighting candles without leaving an offering. I used to rather like lighting my candle manually and leaving it wherever I wished on my chosen altar. Are the electronic candles ubiquitous now?
I lit my candle for Madeleine at the altar nearest the famous terracotta crib as I thought it should be near Mary and Joseph. And yes, I did cry.


Whispering Walls said...

Good for you - I hope your prayer is answered...soon! We don't yet have electric candles at Winchester cathedral. Maybe it's more of a Catholic church accessory. There's been much controversy here about putting up "No Smoking" signs in churches so perhaps electric candles are on their way.

Crushed said...

Drawn to Catholicism?
Hope for you, my girl!

I do occasionally light a candle in front of The Madonna.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, WW. Glad to hear Winchester Cathedral has not succombed yet. It is so beautiful. Crushed, thank you!

Anonymous said...

You are a very nice lady. Hope your prayers are answered.

Shades said...

I've seen electric candles in the UK but I can't remember where.

One of:

St Pauls
Westminster Abbey
Westminster Cathedral
York Minster
(or possibly some minor church)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Steve. You are a very nice gentleman. We all hope for Madeleine and others like her.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Delicolor, so the trend is spreading, then.

Lee said...

I hope your prayers get answered, too, Welsh. I really feel for the parents and little Madeleine. I feel very strongly, in a completely different emotion towards those who have done this despicable deed. I do hope Madeleine is found and sound.

Maria said...

I hate those! I much prefer the lighting of the candles... the smell the swish of the match stick it seems as my intention will actually get someplace!

Who ever thought of electrical candles!!! SILLY!


Eurodog said...

These electric candles are news to me. Here in Belgium we do still have real candles.
I also relate to what Rabbi Bleu said.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Lee, I agree with you completely. M, I don't know who thought of electric candles either, but whoever it is, I don't like them or their invention! Eurodog, glad they have not reached there.


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