On Holy Saturday, the lighting of the Paschal Candle is the most solemn part of the ceremony.

The candle is lit from a brazier outside and then brought into the cathedral. The artwork for this year’s candle was created by artist Michael Blow who describes this in his own words –


I find my first creative thoughts are always grandiose, beautiful and complex images, without particular focus. However the subject of the paschal candle with its historic significance and spiritual meaning soon focused my thoughts. I began to think of it as a resurrection symbol, life emerging from the death of Jesus Christ, of spirit mastering earthy nature.

So, the ‘depths’, the bottom of the candle, are dark and maybe suggestive of conflict with black and dark brown colours shot with reds and fire-like flashes of gold. The colouring gradually grows lighter as it nears the top of the candle where the flame, when lit, represents the eternal light and presence of Christ.

Central to the design is the cross of gold anchored to the candle by the 5 wounds of Christ in the form of brass pins filled with grains of incense. Above and below the cross are placed the letters Alpha and Omega symbolizing the beginning and the end. Revelation 21:16 the exalted Christ says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.”

Between Alpha and the head of the cross rises a white dove. In the context of Christ’s resurrection, the dove presents the work of the Holy Spirit in the world, the fulfilment of Jesus’ work and his promise to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples after his resurrection.

Below Omega, the year 2024 is placed in a vertical form. The date highlights the intersection of time and eternity. It serves as a reminder that Christ’s resurrection transcends time and impacts on every moment of history, including the present.

– Michael Blow.


Paschal Candle