Easter candelabra

The Paschal candle, used in Easter night services as a symbol of the light of Christ rising and overcoming darkness, is usually placed at the end of the candelabrum, known as the patera. The candelabra of the Palatine Chapel, a masterpiece of the Sicilian Romanesque style, is currently located at the side of the ambo. The candelabrum, made of white marble, reaches a height of four and a half metres. The shaft is divided into five orders of relief, into which scenes connected by acanthus leaves are carved. At the base, lions, a symbol of power, are depicted in the act of attacking both men and two other animals, followed by a band decorated with vines and acanthus leaves, recalling Paradise. Above, Christ is shown in a mandorla, supported by two angels and a bowed man is depicted with a mitre and pallium, identified as Roger II or an archbishop. There are also eagles with prey in their talons and flowering vine-shoots. On the opposite side is a human figure accompanied by an angel. Finally three half-naked figures support the stem where the Easter candelabrum is placed.