Monday, December 28, 2020

Stories for Christmas: A candle in the window

The next Christmas story in our series: A candle in the window. Based on a scrap of folklore from Ireland. 


There are suggestions that the old Irish custom of putting a candle in the window on Christmas Eve was originally a secret sign to Roman Catholic priests that a Catholic family lived there and wanted him to celebrate Mass with them, at a time when Catholic worship was banned under Oliver Cromwell. This seems unlikely to me; it would have been unlikely to stay a secret long, so it probably wouldn't have been very effective, and might even have attracted the attention of the authorities. It seems far more likely that it was, as the stories say, a welcome for Mary and Joseph. 


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