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A Little White Candle

October 16, 2008

I was listening to the song Grace Cathedral Hill by The Decembrists today, and got to thinking about the concept of candles in church. I honestly kind of like the idea of a visual reminder of the specific prayers we have in our hearts. I truthfully don’t parallel myself with the idea of making that notion legalistic. There is something tangible about spending twenty five cents, lighting a candle and watching it burn alongside hundreds of other prayers. The smoke dissipates up into the heavens, making an aroma for our creator. I don’t know, maybe it’s all just mystic nonsense. I just know that when I am struggling in my faith, and my reconciliation with God, it’s nice to see something real, burning away right in front of my eyes.

Ps, I realize that song isn’t specifically about faith or anything, just reminded me. Here are the lyrics:

Grace Cathedral hill, all wrapped in
bones of a setting sun,
all dust and stone and moribund.
I paid twenty-five cents to
light a little white candle
for a New Year’s Day.
I sat and watched it burn away
then turned and weaved through slow decay.
We were both a little hungry,
so we went to get a hotdog,
down the Hyde St. Pier.
The light was slight and disappeared.
The air, it stunk of fish and beer.
We heard a superman trumpet play the National Anthem.

And the world may be long for you,
but he’ll never belong to you.
But on a motorbike,
when all the city lights blind your eyes tonight,
are you feeling better now?
Are you feeling better now?
Are you feeling better now?

Some way to greet the year:
your eyes all bright and brimmed with tears.
The pilgrims, pills and tourists here all sing
“Fifty-three bucks to buy a brand new halo.”
Sweet on a green-eyed girl, all fiery
Irish clip and curl, all brine and piss and vinegar.
I paid twenty-five cents to light a little white candle.

And the world maybe be long for you,
but he’ll never belong to you.
But on a motorbike,
when all the city lights blind your eyes tonight,
are you feeling better now?
Are you feeling better now?
Are you feeling better now?

la la la, la la la, la la la.
ooh la la la la.

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