The History, Meaning and Decor Uses of Cross Candles

The History, Meaning and Decor Uses of Cross Candles
Table Of Content

The Significance of Cross Candles

Candles in the shape of crosses have held religious and spiritual meaning for centuries. With their intersecting perpendicular lines, cross candles represent the central Christian symbol of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Today, cross candles continue to be popular decor items for Christian households and churches, particularly during religious holidays like Easter and Christmas.

History and Symbolism of the Cross

The cross as a symbol dates all the way back to ancient civilizations, but its meaning was solidified for Christians with Jesus's death on the cross. The cross represents the belief that Jesus died for the sins of humanity so that those who accept him as their savior may have everlasting life. It is a key tenant of Christianity and illustrates the central role of Christ's sacrifice.

By using candles shaped into crosses, Christians are able to represent Christ's light shining in the darkness. The cross candle becomes a small beacon representing faith and hope in God's grace and Jesus's sacrifice for humankind. The flickering flame of the candle reinforces this imagery of shining light.

Rustic Cross Candle Aesthetic

Cross candles come in all shapes, sizes and styles, but a popular look is the rustic cross candle. Rustic cross candles are purposefully crafted to look aged and imperfect. They may be made from materials like wood or modeled after driftwood found on beaches. Their distressed design reflects the rough wooden crosses used in antiquity.

The rustic cross candle ties together old and new meaning. Its ruggedness points back to early Christian crosses and persecution, while its flickering flame represents the enduring hope provided by Christ. The organic texture and earthy nature of driftwood crosses also connect to ideas of traditional Christian values.

Using Cross Candles in Home Décor

Cross candles make beautiful additions to Christian home decor. Here are some popular ways to decorate with cross candles:

Accent Pieces

Small and medium cross candles work perfectly as accent pieces throughout the home. Place a few rustic cross candles on the mantel or bookshelves to underscore your faith. Use complementing colors to create a cohesive look.

Table Centerpieces

For religious holiday meals, make a meaningful centerpiece with cross candles. Arrange 3 rustic cross candles of differing heights down the center of your table for a simple yet eye-catching design. Surround with seasonal flowers and greens for a beautiful Easter or Christmas table.


Display cross candles in entryways and windowsills to greet guests with spiritual symbolism. The glow of the candles in a window can also represent the welcoming light of Christ to outsiders.

Cross Candles for Religious Ceremonies

Beyond home décor, cross candles play important ritual roles in Christian religious ceremonies like baptisms, funerals, weddings and more. Their ability to visually focus attention makes them impactful symbols to incorporate into meaningful spiritual events.


At a child’s baptism, light a single cross candle to represent the light of Christ being passed to the baptized person. This cross candle can then be preserved to light on the child’s birthday every year as a symbolic reminder of their baptismal blessing.


Place a cross candle near the deceased or their photo display at a funeral or wake. This symbolizes their everlasting life through Christ as well as the light and hope of his sacrifice, even in grief and loss.


At Christian wedding ceremonies, two interlocking cross candles tied with a ribbon can perfectly emblemize the joining of the couple into one under God. Make it part of your symbolic “unity ritual” along with lighting a unity candle.

Make Your Own Rustic Cross Candles

You can easily DIY rustic cross candles at home with wood, candle wax, wicks and glue. Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

What You Need

  • Wooden crosses made from popsicle sticks, twigs, driftwood or other wood
  • Hot glue gun
  • Candle wicking
  • Glass candle holders or small glasses
  • Soy wax flakes
  • Candle scent and dye (optional)


Step 1: Arrange wooden crosses in candle holders of glasses so they stand upright. Glue down the bases if needed.

Step 2: Affix wicks to the center of the crosses using hot glue to hold them in place.

Step 3: In a melter or double boiler, melt soy wax over medium heat until liquified. Add candle dye and scents if using.

Step 4: Carefully pour melted wax into the glasses, submerging the cross half to two-thirds of the way. Allow to fully harden.

Step 5: Trim wicks to 1⁄4 inch before lighting. Decorate with raffia, lace, preserved flowers or other embellishments if desired.

Gift Cross Candles to Christian Loved Ones

Handmade rustic cross candles make very thoughtful gifts for Christian friends and family. Customize crosses with their initials or names for a more meaningful present. Include a personal note explaining the spiritual symbolism of the cross candle for a special heartfelt touch.

Cross candles represent deep concepts like Christ’s sacrifice, the promise of redemption, and the light of the world. Give the gift of a hand-crafted cross candle to share this powerful symbolism during the holiday season or for springtime Easter gifting.


What is the meaning of a cross candle?

A cross candle holds religious symbolism about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The upright vertical candle represents the cross he was crucified on, while the flame represents Christ's light. Cross candles remind Christians of his sacrifice and the promise of grace, redemption, and everlasting life for those who accept him.

What are some popular uses of cross candles?

Cross candles are popularly used to decorate Christian homes, especially during holidays like Easter and Christmas. They make great accent pieces, centerpieces, and window displays. Cross candles also play important ceremonial roles for rituals like baptisms, funerals, and weddings.

What is a unity cross candle ceremony?

A unity cross candle ceremony is a popular ritual for Christian wedding days. Two individual candles are lit to represent the bride and groom, then the couple uses those flames to light a larger central cross candle together. This symbolizes the joining of their separate lives into one under God.

Can you make your own cross candles?

Yes, cross candles are easy to DIY. Glue wooden popsicle stick or twig crosses upright in glass holders, affix a wick, then fill with melted candle wax. Customize with scents, colors, embellishments, or engrave initials for handmade, meaningful cross candle gifts.

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