Candles Always Burning

Back in '99 when I was in Italy I noticed old churches where there were always candles burning it seemed. Though at the time a raving protestant of the Hislop persuasion (my how a decade changes things) I still lit a few and put some money in the box to pay for them. It was beautiful.

Why do I see in some churches such as the older ones, and pictures of some here in the us, the bank of candles burning lit by visitors and in ones like the parish I visit now I don’t see any ?

Is there some part of the parish where they do burn or is it only certain churches and if certain ones why do they burn them ?

If I make no sense its probably because I’m confused myself.


Our parish still burns them. In 3 different places actually! :slight_smile: I think some churches may have electric ones due to fire codes, etc. That could be one reason.

Sadly, some areas do have fire codes which restrict the lighting of candles in churches. Spoilsports :stuck_out_tongue:

“Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. In the Tent of Meeting, outside the curtain that is in front of the Testimony, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the LORD from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.” (Exodus 27:20-21)

Yes, unfortunately my parish had to stop the practice of leaving burning candles. This was by order of the Fire Marshal.

We don’t have any of those votive candle stands simply because my parish has never had the money to invest in them.

That said, even if we had been able to purchase them it would have been a waste of money: we were forced to make our sanctuary lamp electric due to fire codes so votive
offering candles wouldn’t be allowed either.

We still have them. I know a lot of churches don’t have them - but, I believe it is a fire code situation. I do love seeing the candles.

:heaven: :harp:

It’s not necessarily a matter of the fire code in a particular area. Sometimes the cost for risk & liability insurance is cost prohibitive for parishes.

My parish has two areas where we can light candles, one in front of a picture of Mary and another near our tabernacle. I love lighting candles and it makes me feel really good and it is nice to see them in our church. I think most church’s don’t offer the lighting of candles A. because they might think it is to expensive or B. they are a fire hazard. Some modern church’s have electric candles but I still personally believe that regular candles are best. Hope this answers your question.

we have a neat outdoor grotto with them- pesky old fire codes!

My current parish has them. My first parish did not. Same city, same fire code so I think it has more to do with cost in this case. I love the way the candles look.

We have them in the chapel but not in the main church. I love being able to see into the dark chapel from outside and see the votive candles burning as well as the red candle next to the tabernacle. There is a pretty extensive sprinkler system in the chapel so that may be why they’re allowed.

A job I love as an altar server is lighting them all though can’t reach the what we name the big six so if no one tall is there that day I ‘sweetly’ ask the priest to reach them…

I think the only one we leave lit is the one next to where hosts are stored in church if that is left lit at all I will look next time at choir prac. The rest we do snuff out since the church is locked and makes no sense when no one goes in anyway. :thumbsup:

Old Churches with lots of old wood plus unattended flames is not a good combination.

Fire codes or not, common sense needs to prevail sometimes no matter how nice real candles look.

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