Light has a place in religion and spirituality no matter where in the world you go. It is often symbolic and people have developed deep meaning behind it. Liturgical candles are commonplace in many rites, celebrations, and ceremonies of many religions. Think of specific celebrations like the beginning of Shabbat in the Jewish religion, and in Christianity, where the idea of God is connected to light in many references. What are some of the types of church candles that you should know about?
Baptismal Candle/ Candle of Baptism
Baptism can be celebrated at any age and is a fundamental sacrament and the first of the Christian faith. The symbolic sacrament involves the use of several objects, including water, oil, chrism, white apparel, and lighted candle. The baptismal candle symbolizes Christ as light of the world, which the newly baptized should also become.
The Easter candle is used in Easter Vigil to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The lighted candle is symbolic of Jesus as the “Light of the World”, resurrected to enlighten the path of others to salvation. The Easter candle is placed at the altar where it remains throughout Easter time and is extinguished at Pentecost which celebrates the ascension of Jesus.
The lighted votive candle is symbolic of the Christian himself, a child of light and of God. It’s lit by the faithful in front of an altar, or a statue of Jesus, Madonna, or a Saint. The lighted candle and its offering further affirm the faithful’s will to exemplify being “the light of the world” like Jesus.
Candle of the Tabernacle
The lighted candle of the Tabernacle indicates the presence of Christ within it, and symbolizes Jesus and the faith of individuals who love Him, the inextinguishable light that remains lit for those who have strayed from the church and a promise of a safe place within the folds upon or return.
The Advent candles are used as part of the Advent wreath with intertwined evergreen branches that holds four candles (Candle of the Prophet, Candle of Hope, Candle of Bethlehem, and Candle of the Universal Call to Salvation) in place. It marks the weeks that lead up to Christmas and on very Sunday of Advent, a candle is lit. It’s typical to find a fifth candle, lit on Christmas in modern crowns.
The blessed and lighted Candlemas candles are used in Candelora celebrations, which occur forty days after Christmas, and are associated with the celebrations of the end of winter. The rite symbolizes Jesus as the light of the world.
Church candles are not only for illumination, but have deep religious significance, and if you need a place to shop for your religious candles, let Catholic Purchasing Services be your guide. We offer a variety of church candles that are fit for your celebration or offering. Don’t hesitate to visit our store today.