Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Paschal Candles

Here are some examples of Paschal candles created by Gina Switzer of Columbus, Ohio. Her parish is St Patrick’s in Columbus, the Dominican church in the city.
I give you this information for two reasons. The first is that if your parish needs a paschal candle, you might consider commissioning one from Gina. Her website ginaswitzer.com has details of how to order and the designs that she has done in the past. So far she has six main themes, and churches ask for modifications that make it appropriate to their parish. On the Paschal page of the website there is a downloadable catalog that has details. Smaller candles also make good gifts, such as named candles for baptisms.
I asked Gina about her methods and she told me the following: “We design and decorate liturgical grade, 51% beeswax Paschal candles. We have designed images that express Christological themes, and so they are appropriate for their liturgical use. I create the artwork which is then reproduced onto a thin gelatin film. Metal leaf is applied by hand along with some hand painting directly onto the candle before the gelatin is applied, also by hand, to the candle. Because each candle is custom-made to order, our basic designs can be tweaked to fit a particular parishes needs; for example, the Dominican cross for a Dominican parish, a Celtic border for St. Patrick parish, and so on.”

The other reason for writing about this is that I hope it might inspire other artists to do the same. I am regularly asked by priests where they can get hold of Paschal candles, as they find the designs in the usual catalogs unsatisfactory. There seems to be a dearth in the market.

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