It is common procedure to have the closest to us – family, other relatives and friends – present during the most candid and important events of our life. It is this tradition that has led to the many festivities that surround events such as births, marriages, deaths, etc. around the world. Of course, the best outcome would be for everyone to have their most important individuals be present during these important events, but often, this is not the case for everyone. There are countless people who have lost one or more important individuals in their life. However, this does not stop them from including those who have passed on in their festivities: in fact, there are many ways to honour and pay one’s respects to those that are no more.One of the most popular ways to remember the dead is through the memorial candles for weddings, baptisms and funerals that can be seen in many western countries today. Besides the obvious relationship of candles and the church (which has used candles to allude to both God and Christ in various ways), candles have been used for centuries to indicate those who are alive no more – they signify the continued existence of those who have died in the memories and hearts of people. Accordingly, they have made for an ideal way to remember the dead.
Wedding ceremony candles and other types of memorial candles today have undergone considerable personalization, keeping with the current trends of liberal ideas that go beyond the traditional, orthodox and rigid values of yesterday. For example, it is not uncommon today to see memorial candles personalized in ways that the wax is carved or marked in some personal way; photos and other memorable items of the lost ones are often attached to them today. The trend of personalization has gone far enough that stores that sell memorial candles have joined it: these stores now actively promote special memorial candles with a personal touch, unique for every customer.The trends of innovation do not stop at mere customization today, however. In fact, given the transition to electronic devices and hybrid technology, high quality memorial candles today have sometimes ‘stopped’ being candles in the traditional sense: they can be battery-powered, electric candles, solar-powered candles, etc. today. They can even be virtual candles – that is, no more a physical presence, but candles that exist behind a computer screen or the screen of any other digital device. Regardless of all these changes to the concept of the memorial candle, the meaning that continues to drive its usage has not changed or faded in the slightest: memorial candles continue today to represent and honour the dead as beautifully as they did in the past.