Sanctuary Candle and candles in general?


#1

Why do we Catholics have the Sanctuary Candle lit for someone who has passed away? can it helpful to their soul if they are in purgatory? Thank you and God bless!


#2

Why do we Catholics light candles in church for our special intentions? Thank you and God bless! :)


#3

It signifies that we are remembering someone/some intention in prayer. The burning candle represents our desire to remain in prayer over our intentions--to have them carried to God for us. I like to light a candle for others who have been recommended to my prayers knowing that while I must be away doing other things, the candle continues to offer my prayer.


#4

[quote="Della, post:3, topic:336570"]
It signifies that we are remembering someone/some intention in prayer. The burning candle represents our desire to remain in prayer over our intentions--to have them carried to God for us. I like to light a candle for others who have been recommended to my prayers knowing that while I must be away doing other things, the candle continues to offer my prayer.

[/quote]

That's an amazing explanation! :) Thank you so much! :D God bless you! :)


#5

[quote="polishprincess, post:4, topic:336570"]
That's an amazing explanation! :) Thank you so much! :D God bless you! :)

[/quote]

You're welcome. :tiphat:


#6

[quote="Della, post:5, topic:336570"]
You're welcome. :tiphat:

[/quote]

:D


#7

[quote="polishprincess, post:1, topic:336570"]
Why do we Catholics have the Sanctuary Candle lit for someone who has passed away? can it helpful to their soul if they are in purgatory? Thank you and God bless!

[/quote]

The Sanctuary Lamp is lit before the tabernacle when the Blessed Sacrament is present in the tabernacle.

Votive candles, which are different from the sanctuary lamp, are lit when we pray a prayer for the dead as a visible representation of our prayer.


#8

When we see the lit candles, they are also a reminder to pray for the intentions of the people who lit them.


#9

[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:336570"]
Votive candles, which are different from the sanctuary lamp, are lit when we pray a prayer for the dead as a visible representation of our prayer.

[/quote]

Votive candles can be lit for any prayer request, not just for prayers for the deceased.


#10

[quote="Bonnie, post:9, topic:336570"]
Votive candles can be lit for any prayer request, not just for prayers for the deceased.

[/quote]

Why can't votive candles be lit for the deceased?


#11

[quote="polishprincess, post:1, topic:336570"]
Why do we Catholics have the Sanctuary Candle lit for someone who has passed away? can it helpful to their soul if they are in purgatory? I know what a Sanctuary Candle is I just want to know why people have it lit for in memory of their deceased. Thank you and God bless!

[/quote]


#12

[quote="polishprincess, post:10, topic:336570"]
Why can't votive candles be lit for the deceased?

[/quote]

I didn't say they couldn't. They can be lit for any prayers.

Are you asking if candles can be lit as a memorial to the deceased without saying a prayer? I suppose you could - there aren't any votive candle police. :)


#13

Sacramentals accompany divine worship by conferring grace ex opere operantis, that is, through the pious disposition of the one using them, and candles are not an exception. :)

The rite of blessing of candles is beautifully worded:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, we implore Thee to bless these candles and through the power of the holy Cross, to bestow upon them Thy heavenly benediction, who has given them to mankind to dispel darkness.

May they, through the sign of the Holy Cross, obtain such blessing that wherever they may be lighted or wherever they be placed the powers of darkness may vanish, trembling and affrighted, with all their aids and accomplices and be driven from these dwellings, and never again dare disquiet or molest them that serve Thee, Almighty God.

Used as far back as the days of Moses to foreshadow the Messias to come, candles are symbols of the Christ Who has come and Who will come again. The pure wax, made by bees born of a "virginal" queen mother, is seen as a fitting symbol for the flesh of Christ, His very body. The wick symbolizes His soul; the flame, His divinity.

Votive candles - which aren't blessed and usually aren't made of beeswax - are, when lit, used to symbolize our prayers, vows of prayer, or simply our honoring God or one of His Saints. Thus the name votive, from votum, vow. It's not uncommon, too, to find these intentions written out and placed near the candles. Another common reason to light votive candles is out of gratitude to God for answered prayers.

The history of votive candles as we use them today is also quite ancient, tracing back to the Middle Ages. St. Radegund (d. 587) described a practice whereby a person would light a candle or several candles which equaled his own height; this was called "measuring to" such a saint. Although it may seem peculiar to us, this "measuring" actually reflects the idea of the candle representing the person in faith who has come into the light to offer his prayer.

Sources: (1), (2)


#14

[quote="Bonnie, post:12, topic:336570"]
I didn't say they couldn't. I suppose you could - there aren't any votive candle police.

[/quote]

Are you sure? :)


#15

[quote="Bonnie, post:12, topic:336570"]
I didn't say they couldn't. They can be lit for any prayers.

Are you asking if candles can be lit as a memorial to the deceased without saying a prayer? I suppose you could - there aren't any votive candle police. :)

[/quote]

no. I'm asking if the Sanctuary Candle can be lit for a soul who is possibly in purgatory and if would help get them out. I'm not sure if all church's do this but, each week the Sanctuary Candle is lit for someone who has passed away and has been requested by a friend or a member of their family. The fee for this candle is $15 and I want to know if it would be better to have a mass said for them. I hope I've been able to articulate my question better. :D God bless you!


#16

[quote="polishprincess, post:1, topic:336570"]
Why do we Catholics have the Sanctuary Candle lit for someone who has passed away? can it helpful to their soul if they are in purgatory? Thank you and God bless!

[/quote]

:confused: We don't.

The Sanctuary Candle is for the Tabernacle, to show that Jesus is present within.

If there are votive candles, you can light a votive candle for any reason. There is usually a donation box close by so that you can donate for the use of the candle.


#17

[quote="polishprincess, post:10, topic:336570"]
Why can't votive candles be lit for the deceased?

[/quote]

They can. She meant, "not only." For any reason, including for the deceased.


#18

[quote="polishprincess, post:15, topic:336570"]
no. I'm asking if the Sanctuary Candle can be lit for a soul who is possibly in purgatory and if would help get them out. I'm not sure if all church's do this but, each week the Sanctuary Candle is lit for someone who has passed away and has been requested by a friend or a member of their family. The fee for this candle is $15 and I want to know if it would be better to have a mass said for them. I hope I've been able to articulate my question better. :D God bless you!

[/quote]

This must be a particular custom at a local parish.

In most parishes, the Sanctuary Candle is for Jesus alone.


#19

[quote="Bonnie, post:9, topic:336570"]
Votive candles can be lit for any prayer request, not just for prayers for the deceased.

[/quote]

The OP asked about prayers for someone who had passed away.


#20

[quote="polishprincess, post:15, topic:336570"]
no. I'm asking if the Sanctuary Candle can be lit for a soul who is possibly in purgatory and if would help get them out.

[/quote]

No. The Sanctuary Lamp has a specific purpose and it is not lit for the dead.

No, lighting a candle cannot "get them out" of Purgatory. Our prayers can aid those in Purgatory.

[quote="polishprincess, post:15, topic:336570"]
I'm not sure if all church's do this but, each week the Sanctuary Candle is lit for someone who has passed away and has been requested by a friend or a member of their family. The fee for this candle is $15 and I want to know if it would be better to have a mass said for them.

[/quote]

I would suggest you ask your pastor, as I would think that the Mass is for the person not the candle-- although perhaps they change the candle on a particular day. It is not the lighting of the candle that is efficiacious. It is the private prayers or offering of the Mass that are.

[quote="polishprincess, post:15, topic:336570"]

I hope I've been able to articulate my question better. :D God bless you!

[/quote]

You will have to ask your pastor. Never heard of it.


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