The candles symbolize Christ and His Gospel as light of the world, do they not?
Of course, but was that the original reason for the use of candles (not specificaly the altar candles either), or is this just an example of a tradition that began with a practical purpose and found new meaning over time?
Certainly not, our use of incense has it’s roots in our Judaic heritage and it symbolizes the prayers and praise of the people rising before God (I would also argue that objectively there ARE NOT more fragant smells to be had in aerosol cans! My gran used these in the bathroom and they almost choked me, something good incense never does!).
And since I hesitate to back up the notion that the use of incense began because the Early Church was smelly, I won’t get into it’s original purpose. And I will agree that incense is far more fragrant then anything in an aerosol can, but that is just our opinion.
Anyway, those were just some rather poor examples of what I’m trying to get at. My point is that traditions need not be discarded because their purpose is not immediately apparent. Like I’ve said before, traditions accumulate meaning and symbolism over time, and if the Liturgy has failed in this respect at all it is not because of these traditions, but because of a lack of explaination for their relevance and meaning.
Or the use of the fannon (an obscure liturgical garment, the name of which I’ve probably mispelled, but that some people would like to see returned).
Ah yes, the Papal Fanon. John Paul II wore it a few times and I think Benedict has too- photos1.blogger.com/img/7/1435/640/jpiifanon.jpg
Again, this isn’t addressed to you (I picked your post because you asserted that the lifting of the chasuble was a sign of respect and I was honestly hoping that you DID have a citation), but I don’t think this kind of mindset is any more helpful to the Church that the one that says,“Oh, we don’t do that anymore, not since Vatican II.” They’ve no more idea what the council or the popes said than others know about the lifting of the chasuble, or the use of the fannon, etc., that they insist upon.
That is why, once again, what should be done is not discard every tradition that might bee seen as pointless, but to educate people on why it is not pointless. Little tradition such as these might not be practical today as they once were, but they enhance the Liturgy through beauty and mystery. Rather then destroying these traditions we should be rediscovering them.