A Wandering Widow Post
Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.
This week I got to celebrate my first Orthodox Easter in Romania. It’s usually a week after Easter back home and comes with a lot of traditions I’ve been lucky enough to get to experience. Many of those center around incredible food, family, and friends. But at midnight on Saturday, I participated in the candlelighting ceremony and blessing at St. Nicholas Orthodox church in Bucharest’s Old City. It is over 100 years old, built during the time of the last Russian Czar. The church has the strong Byzantine architectural style I’ve come to expect from Orthodox churches but also felt a little different than others I’ve visited in Romania. Perhaps that was the Russian influence.
When we walked in to buy our candles and take a look around, I was surprised to see that women stand on the left, and men on the right. There are no church pews, which is pretty extreme since the mass runs from midnight to 4 am.
At midnight the priests come outside and chant and start the candlelighting. It’s pretty cool to see the light spread from person to person, even if you have no clue what the priest is saying (the few Romanian phrases I’ve learned weren’t enough to help me here).
As I watched the light spread from candle to candle, I couldn’t help but think about what a beautiful metaphor it is for grief support, particularly between W’s. In our tribe, we work hard to support each other the best we can. None of us can shine brightly all the time. Just as the man next to me lit my candle, and I then shared my light with my cousin who lit the candle of a little girl next to us, so goes our love and support. When a gust of wind blew out my flame, the little girl just shared hers back with me.
And the best part? You don’t lose any of your own light by sharing it with others. So let it shine bright my friends. Happy Easter from Romania.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.