I never took the time to ask for this, but what are those candles that are sometimes in or sometimes outside of the church? I see people occasionally walk up and light one of them. What are these called, and what is it for?


I heard it explained that it is a way to continue your prayer even though you cannot stay there physically.


They’re called votive candles. They are usually near an image of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, or one of the saints. You can pray for a special intention and entrust it to God and to the intercession of the saint being honored. The candle is just symbolic of your prayer continuing even though you cannot remain in the church constantly.


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