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(No) Candle November 1, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Show and Tell.

Seen at the crypt where my grandparents (mother’s side) happen to be interred. This isn’t their tomb, though.

The crypt itself is in the basement of one of the smaller neighborhood churches. Typically, the place gets busy during All Saints’ and All Souls’, either with visits from families and friends of the departed or ornaments to mark each tomb.

Because the place is below ground with only one point of ingress and egress, it does tend to get stuffy from candles that are left burning throughout the day. Hence, this year the church administration decide to put up signs like that above reminding visitors to refrain from lighting candles altogether. Still, when we visited, there were several tombs marked with lighted candles, the most noticeable one being that in the picture which was situated right beside such a sign.

Regardless of whether this was someone deliberately thumbing their nose at the policy or if it so happened that the sign came up after the candles were lit, I find it amusing. But it’s also an apropos opportunity for introspection. Do we honor the dead by disregarding the wishes of the living? Or, is each opportunity to show respect for those who have gone before us so precious that such acts of remembrance must take precedence? After all, it’s a simple thing to pay homage to our departed loved ones.

You just have to light a candle.


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