This was a popular Christmas parlor game which then became a very popular Halloween game and now it has practically died out. It is more relevant to the Harrowing of Hell than any other time! Here’s how you play.
Take a large shallow bowl, or pie plate, and put in three or four raisins for each person playing. Now, warm some brandy on the stove and then pour it into the bowl. Not much, just enough to cover the bottom. Then place a tarp on the floor or table, whichever everyone can gather around. The game can get messy. You need the tarp. Now put the bowl in the center, gather the player around and have them roll up their sleeves. Turn off as many lights as possible. You don’t want complete darkness for safety’s sake. Remind everyone:
Before His Resurrection, Jesus descended into the realm of the dead and delivered the salvation to them so that they would be free to go to Heaven.
Light the brandy! The brandy will flicker with a wondrous blue flame! Now reach into the flames and save the raisins!! Really? Through flames! Are you crazy! The trick is that the alcohol in the brandy burns at a temperature low enough that you can easily snatch out the raisins, your fingers dripping in blue flame, and pop them into your mouth if you are quick. Closing your mouth extinguishes the flames. Now it is hot, just not hot enough to burn you if you are fast.
But DO NOT go crazy! Use only a little brandy and use your common sense! I am not going to be responsible for people acting like idiots. Don’t leave your hand in the flames. If the flames drop onto clothing or the floor extinguish it immediately. Don’t let very small children or pets near it. Don’t leave your mouth open with a flaming raisin in it! Use your common sense! With a modicum of precaution and common sense you will be able to have fun with it.
Since Halloween is all about the oneness of family and remembering those that have gone before – have another Halloween now! Dress up in costumes, pull out great, great grandma’s favorite recipe, play great uncle Bob’s favorite song! Know that they are in Heaven – saved!
Peace be with you.