Blessings on candles and religious articles

I have a question…If candles are already blessed ( like at a church that has a box with a slot on it so you can pay for the candle you get) and then you pay for them, do you have to have the Father bless them again? I hope I’m making sense here!
Someone told me that as soon as money changes hand for a candle it is no longer blessed. Is this true? If it doesn’t make sense, let me know so I can reword it. LOL:confused:http://

No, that’s not the case. However, if the candle is already blessed, you can’t BUY the candle. You may make a donation, but to sell a blessed item is the sin of simony.

thank you Muzhik for your reply, now I know.
My sister-in-law said her parish priest told her that she could bless her candles herself, he gave her a little paper that showed how to do it. Is this right? CAN we bless our own candles?

No. You can say a prayer over the candle, but only a priest or deacon can bless them (canon 1169).

The candles available in churches (the ones intended to be lit right then-and-there) are usually not blessed–they’re simply removed from the box and put in the holders without ceremony (not that they can’t be blessed, they simply usually aren’t). Other times, like Candlemas, the candles are blessed in a special ceremony, but these are usually of a different sort than the typical “vigil” or “votive” candles.

Thankyou FrDavid96 for getting me straight on this

I thought you couldn’t sell it for more than the price of an unblessed candle. I think I heard that some retailers will sell sacramentals and then have them blessed before shipping. Am I mistaken? (It happens a lot.)

My understanding is similar. CCC 2121 defines simony as “the buying or selling of spiritual things”. But if, for example, someone purchased several candles for, say, a material cost of $1/each and had the entire set of candles blessed then my understanding is that they could be re-sold for $1/each (same cost as it was originally purchased) and this was not considered simony since one is not charging because of the blessing upon the object but simply for the material cost associated with the object. :shrug:

I would appreciate any clarification that could be provided. :confused:

You’ve got the right idea. However, tweaking the words would be in order. Blessed objects should never be outright “sold.” One might exchange a blessed object and receive in return a compensation approximately equal to the original cost of the object, but to call that “selling” or to engage in “commerce” would be simony.

Let’s say it’s Candlemas. The church has bought a case of candles and the total cose (shipping, etc) comes out to about 90 cents each. After the candles are blessed, they are set out, with a sign reading “candles $1 donation” That’s fine. There’s no real profit involved, they are not offered “for sale” and if someone can’t afford the donation, or refuses to make it, such a one may still take a candle (from the parish’s point of view; for the person’s own conscience, this might be stealing if he doesn’t intend to put the money in later).

On the other hand, if one were to set-up a table and advertise “blessed candles, $1 each” and outright engage in commerce then that would be simony.

Likewise, to say “candles $1 / blessed candles $5” that would be simony.

Another example: “blessed candles $1 + wrapping $4 total cost = $5” That would be simony.

We do sell (unblessed) small bottles for holy water. The bottles are outright sold for $2 (which includes a modest profit), but the holy water itself is free. The bottle is empty, and the holy water is added after the sale. That’s fine. Bring your own bottle, and take as much free holy water as you want. Sure, sometimes people fill the bottle before paying for it, but the principle is still the same.

Simony: “bottles $5 filled with free holy water” would be simony because the buyer is being charged an unfair price for the bottle, and even though the words say that the water is free, everyone knows that the buyer is actually paying extra for the blessing.

Over the centuries, people have found some pretty creative ways to “sell” blessed objects by finding apparent “loopholes” in the laws prohibiting simony. Bottom line is that it’s not the letter of the law, but the intention of the seller/buyer that makes it simony. We can’t fool God.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit