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Ohio company's candles helping church celebrate Easter for generations


  • Production worker Rose Marie Dixon uses a sander to apply gold foil to a paschal candle March 10 at the A.I. Root Co. in Medina, Ohio. The candles are made to order and shipped to churches across the United States. (CNS photo/Katie Breidenbach)
  • Production employee Phil Demiter works on a paschal candle March 10 at the A.I. Root Co. in Medina, Ohio. The candles are made to order and shipped to churches across the United States. (CNS photo/Katie Breidenbach)
  • Brad Root, president of A.I. Root Co., watches wicks being braided March 10 at the family-run company in Medina, Ohio. Root is the great-great-grandson of the founder. (CNS photo/Katie Breidenbach)
  • A wax crucifix graces the center of a paschal candle March 10 at the A.I. Root Co. in Medina, Ohio. The candles are made to order and shipped to churches across the United States. (CNS photo/Katie Breidenbach)
  • Production employee Rose Marie Dixon adds decorations to a paschal candle March 10 at the A.I. Root Co. in Medina, Ohio. The candles are made to order and shipped to churches across the United States. (CNS photo/Katie Breidenbach)
  • In God We Trust is seen March 10 on the facade of the A.I. Root Co. in Medina, Ohio. Originally a bee supply company founded in 1869, the factory now creates candles for liturgical and personal use. (CNS photo/Katie Breidenbach)

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MEDINA, Ohio (CNS) -- Dozens of little wax flowers lay on the table in front of her. With a gentle grip, Judy Hamrick picks up each one and covers the back in glue.

"It's very peaceful work," Hamrick said. "I've worked here 24 years and every paschal season I've been out here and we enjoy it out here."

Nearby are countless other wax decorations in the shape of lambs, crosses, numbers and Greek letters. Tubs of wax, rulers, brushes and boxes of pins lay strewn on Hamrick's desk and the desks of her co-workers.

"It's exciting when you put it all together," added another decorator, Rose Marie Dixon.

Each element is carefully measured and attached, by hand, to a long wax pillar. After about 45 minutes, the women finish decorating one paschal candle. Their factory, the A.I. Root Co. in Medina, will create over 1,500 of these liturgical works of art and ship them to churches across the country.

"We probably make about 25 to 30 a day," said Brad Root, president and chairman of the A.I. Root Co. "It's the 15 weeks leading up to Easter that the majority of the paschal candles are made and shipped."

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