The Menorah at the rectory has had better days, so I thought I might get eight candles and a server candle that was different than the rest, something along the lines described in the Book of Revelation with the golden lampstands representing the churches to which the revelation was sent, with the addition of a server-Lamp “One like a Son of Man in their midst.” He, of course, is the Light of the Nations who enlightens all. Of course, back in the day, no one would know about candles until many centuries later, just oil lamps, but – Hey! – you gotta do what you gotta do. There are eight plus one server because it’s not allowed to have the original seven outside of the Temple itself.
Here’s the prayers I use every night for the High Holy Days of Hanukkah, which commemorate God’s miraculous intervention teaching us all about the Light of the Nations who God is. The lamp in the newly consecrated Temple (which had been desecrated), only had oil enough for one day, but kept burning for seven, that is, until fresh oil could be made. This is the lamp, the light, that Israel is to be because of God’s miraculous intervention, with God’s entire economy of salvation coming about by way of His Chosen People, so that the Light of the Nations is the presence of God Himself in their midst, guiding them, leading them. This is a fitting symbol for all time. Christ Jesus is represented by the Easter Candle. Others candles are lit from it. Christ enlightens us with the fiery ardent love of the Holy Spirit. That Lamp keeps burning for us, God with us, Immanuel.
Firstly, the server candle is lit daily, this pray is said:
That is: Blessed are You, LORD our God, the King of the Universe, who sanctifies us with His commandments, and commanding us to kindle of the lamp of Hanukkah.
Secondly, also every day of the lighting of the candles, we have this prayer:
That is: Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe, who performed miraculous deeds for our Fathers in those days and at this time.
Thirdly: The following prayer is said but only on the very first day:
That is: Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to arrive to this time.
Those are my loose translations. In fact, while I admit I took the Hebrew text in graphic form from another web site as it was just easier, I also re-edited the Hebrew text of prayer number two back to its more ancient form. The edit that had been there was even pointed wrongly. Note to the tinkeritis crowd: if you can’t even get the grammar down, don’t try to fool with the theology, thinking you are the Messiah because of your social engineering. /// end rant. sorry.
For me, I should like to think that the Birth of the Messiah came about at the time of the celebration of Hanukah, Christ Himself being the Light of the Lamp in the Temple.
Anyway, here’s what the Hanukkah “lamps” look like on this fourth evening of these High Holy Feast Days:
Still needs Baby Jesus. Patience. The Angels are just getting ready to sing: Gloria!