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Parish's Easter candle is symbol of prayers

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The Easter candle - at churches all around the world - symbolizes Christ as light of the world and his presence in the midst of his people.

And at St. Pius X Parish in Omaha, it also symbolizes people's prayers of praise and petition from the past year. That's because the stubs of the beeswax candles used throughout the liturgical year at St. Pius X are cleaned, melted and used to make the parish's Easter candle.

Servant of Mary Sister and St. Pius X liturgist Rosalie Riccobono - with help from several parishioners - has been making the Easter candle at St. Pius X for the last seven years.

It saves the parish money - Easter candles can cost between $50 and $200 depending on size - and offers a powerful symbol, she said.

"Our Easter candle, which represents the risen Christ in our midst, has been poured both from the candles adorning our altar and our prayers throughout the year as we gathered to give praise and glory to our God," she said. "In a very real, tangible way, the light of Christ and our lives are one."

Easter candles are lit during Mass each of the 50 days of Easter and for funerals, baptisms and other special occasions throughout the year.

Sister Riccobono said she has made 16 to 18 Easter candles at various parishes she has served. She believes St. Pius X is the only parish in the archdiocese that makes its own Easter candle.

"It really is the work of our hands, the work of our prayer all year long," she said.

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