‘The sun is setting, and our earth will soon be mantled in darkness. The Church has provided a torch, which is to spread its light upon us... It is of an unusual size. It stands alone, and is of a pillar-like form. It is the symbol of Christ. Before being lighted, its scriptural type is the pillar of a cloud, which hid the Israelites when they went out from Egypt; under this form, it is the figure of our Lord, when lying lifeless in the tomb. When lighted, we must see in it both the pillar of fire, which guided the people of God, and the glory of our Jesus risen from his grave. Our holy Mother the Church, would have us enthusiastically love this glorious symbol, and speaks its praises to us in all the magnificence of her inspired eloquence. As early as the beginning of the 5th century, Pope St Zozimus extended to all the Churches of the City of Rome the privilege of blessing the Paschal Candle, although Baptism was administered no where but in the Baptistery of St John Lateran. The object of this grant was, that all the Faithful might share in the holy impressions which so solemn a rite is intended to produce. It was for the same intention that, later, every Church, even though it had no Baptismal Font, was permitted to have the Blessing of the Paschal Candle’.
from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB, 1805-1875
Fr Lee Kenyon