Am I the only one who has misgivings when, at the Easter Vigil, the Celebrant invites the Congregation to extinguish their Easter candles at some point in the service (usually before the readings begin?
It suddenly seems as if these candles — which at the beginning of the Vigil were lit as the profound symbol of the resurrection — are nothing more than liturgical debris, to be un-lit for the sake of convenience. Even if we take these candles home with us and light them at our Easter meals, within the Easter Vigil itself we are asked to make a sudden switch from holding these candles as deep pointers to the Resurrection to treating these candles as, basically, a liturgical nuisance. It seems impractical, after all, to ask people to hold lit candles throughout a long service).
But are there other options than simply extinguishing what we just celebrated as the “light of Christ”? Would it, for example, be possible to gather the lit candles in stands filled with sand, around the sanctuary? Maybe some Pray Tell folks have already solved this issue?