Rorate Caeli

Traditional lighting of a Paschal fire

The following video is of the Paschal fire being lit by flint, steel and flax, in the vestibule of St Aloysius Church in Australia.

Holy Mother Church directs that the Paschal fire itself should be lit from stone, traditionally flint (struck against steel). The prayer blessing the fire invokes Christ as the corner stone of the Church, Who has enkindled in the Faithful the fire of Divine Splendor.

The lighting of the Paschal fire then refers not only the stone of the tomb, but to Christ Himself Who is the Cornerstone. The sparks coming from the contact between the flint and the steel ignite the flax seemingly out of nowhere, and the flax immediately gives off a bright flame. This evokes perfectly the sudden splendor of the Resurrection.

Secondarily, it makes us think of God’s creation of the world “ex nihilo," that we will hear related in the very first lesson from Genesis, and which begins with the creation of light. Finally, we are reminded of the essential connection between Creation and the Resurrection, when we realize that Christ’s Resurrection is the beginning, the "first fruits” and exemplary cause, of the New Creation (the "New Heavens and the New Earth”) that is being prepared.