Friday, October 21, 2016

Advent, Christmas Eve & Epiphany Candles

I actually planned ahead last year and ordered extra candles to have blessed on Candlemas (Feb 2) and then have on hand for this upcoming Advent!

I really love the 100% pure beeswax Advent Candles from The Cloister Shoppe, handmade by the Dominican Nuns. They are made in limited quantities each year and only available for a limited time, so I wanted to give you all a heads up with Advent coming up at the end of next month.

The last couple years we've had two Advent wreaths in our home. The taper Advent Candles are placed in an Advent Wreath on our dining room table and we light them during dinner each night. We also have a larger wreath on the coffee table in the living room which we light during our family rosary each evening. We'll be using these short pillar candles in purple and pink again this year.

The Advent Candle Kit from Illuminated Ink (pictured below) is such a fun Advent activity for children.

The Cloister Shoppe makes amazing Jar Candles. I ordered extras of the Three Wisemen Candle (prefect for Epiphany!) to give as gifts last year and everyone loved them!

I've also been using their jar candles throughout the year and all the various scents we have tried have been lovely. This year I'd love to order the Bayberry Tumbler Candle!

Note: They have more of the St. Nick's Goat Milk Soap available! It was one of our Seven Fun Finds for Advent a couple years ago.

The Cloister Shoppe also has some of their Bayberry Christmas Eve Candles available again:

There is an old colonial tradition of burning a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve. Often these very special bayberry candles were given to a friend with a little couplet that says,

This bayberry candle comes from a friend
so on Christmas eve burn it down to the end.
For a bayberry candle burned to the socket,
will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket.

Bayberry was chosen because usually poorly burning tallow candles were used for everyday use. Bayberry was and stil is considered special because it takes nearly 18 pounds of bayberries to make 1 pound of wax!!!!

Meanwhile, in Ireland it was the custom to leave a candle in the window to welcome the Christ Child and the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. During penal times it became a means of telling priests in hiding that a Catholic family was in that home.

We have brought these two traditions together with our Bayberry Christmas Eve Candle! This is an 6" 100% bayberry candle hand-poured here at the monastery. (Because bayberry is so brittle it is customary to add a small amount of beeswax as well.). This is NOT a bayberry scented candle but made of real bayberry wax! Each candle is packaged in a wood crate made especially for us along with a colonial-style star shaped tin candle holder signifying the Star of Bethlehem. Each gift crate is tied with a unique "Merry Christmas" bow. (Not seasons greetings or happy holidays!)

Each 6" candle will burn for approximately 5-6 hours. Depending on the area that the candle is burned it is nearly drip free.

Comes with a little booklet describing the origins of the traditions. We encourage you to start your own tradition and burn the candle while praying the family rosary on Christmas Eve or before Midnight Mass!

Another beautiful addition they have this year is the Christmas Tree Creche Candle. I'm not sure I'd ever be able to actually burn it though!

Like I said, the sisters only make a limited quantity of their beautiful Advent Candles. They always sell out quickly so be sure to order them soon if you are interested!

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