Light at the service of the Liturgy I: Light as a symbol in the Sacred Scriptures.

From the lecture given by Mr. Lucas Viar Basterra at theThe event was held in the auditorium of the Archbishop's Palace of Alcalá de Henares, for the Diocesan School of Liturgy promoted by the Delegation of the Diocese of Alcalá de Henares.n de Liturgia, in collaboration with theThe Diocesan Institute of Theology "Theology in the Diocese".Santo Tomás de Villanueva".


Such is their importance that the first words in God's mouth in the book of Genesis are: "let there be light", "let there be light", "let there be light" and "let there be light".. Light figures from the beginning as the first element of creation and the first of which God said that "it was good".


Once again the light appears in the God's first manifestation to Mosess, by doing so in the form of a burning bush. This bush, which burns without being consumed, refers to a divine fire, incombustible, which possesses the positive virtue of illuminating but not destroying.

In the New Testament light is charged with greater significance and the identification of God with light and fire is a common device: "Word", "life" and "light". are used countless times as images of God and Christ: "I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness" (Jn 8:12).

The light thus remains as a representation of the divine presence: Jesus Christ will be revealed in the Transfiguration as a fact of light and the The Holy Spirit will come upon the apostles in the form of tongues of fire.. Light is identified with the truth and the presence of God and in the last chapter of Revelation it is written about heaven: "There shall be no night there, and no one shall need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God shall be their light, and they shall reign forever" (Rev 22:5).

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The early Christian liturgy receives the heritage of the temple liturgy of the Jewish tradition. Light is used in worship for a direct command from God to Moses, who is commanded to place a lampstand in front of the ark.You shall set up the tabernacle (...) and put the ark in it, and cover it with the veil (...) you shall put the lampstand in it and light the lamps thereof" (Ex 40). Hence it was placed in the temple of Solomon the seven-headed candelabra and that both the Catholic and Orthodox Rites have preserved the placement of the candles on the altar.

Today the fire of the candles has a special presence in the Easter liturgy. The paschal fire is used to light the candle, which represents Christ, in the midst of darkness, while the assembly intones the "Lumen Christi". The whole church draws from this fire to light its candles, which symbolize the presence of each member of the faithful before Christ.


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