You might have seen people lighting candles in church and wondered what the point is. Catholics light candles for a variety of reasons, including to commemorate a special event, to show thanks, or to ask for prayer intentions.
In this post, we’ll explore the meaning behind some of the most common ways Catholics light candles.
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Why Do Catholics Light Candles?
For Catholics, lighting candles is a way of showing reverence for God, saints, and other important figures in the faith.
The practice dates back to the early days of Christianity, when candles were used to light the way for worshipers entering dark churches. Over time, the use of candles has come to symbolize several different things.
For instance, a single candle may be lit in prayer or as an offering for a special intention.
A group of candles may be lit to represent the light of Christ shining in the world. In some cases, candles are also used to bless objects or people. No matter what the purpose, lighting a candle is always seen as a special act of worship.
Candles Are Symbolic
One of the most common symbols associated with candles is that of light. For Christians, light symbolizes Jesus Christ, who is often referred to as the “Light of the World.” In the Bible, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
When Catholics light a candle, they are reminded of Christ’s presence in their lives and the hope that he brings. Candles also symbolize the Holy Spirit, who is often represented by a flame in Christian art and iconography.
One of the most common ways candles are used in the Catholic Church is during the Easter Vigil. On this holy night, Christians celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead. To symbolize Christ’s rising from darkness into light, a new fire is lit and candles are carried into the church. The flames represent the light of Christ, which dispels the darkness of sin and death.
The Paschal Candle, or Easter Candle, is a large white candle that is lit on Easter Sunday and used throughout the Easter season. It reminds Christians of the light of Christ that shines in the world.
The lit candle is an integral part of Catholicism. In fact, when someone was excommunicated, the bishop would ring a bell, close a holy book, and snuff out candles by putting the light into the ground. This symbolized that they were cut off from the light of Christ.
Why Do Catholics Light Candles for the Dead?
In the Catholic Church, it is traditional to light candles for the dead. This practice dates back to the early days of Christianity, when candles were used to light the way for worshipers entering dark churches. Over time, the use of candles has come to symbolize several different things.
For Catholics, lighting a candle for the dead is a way of showing reverence for the person who has died and asking for God’s mercy. It is also seen as a way of keeping the person’s memory alive. In some cases, candles are also lit for special intentions, such as to pray for the soul of a loved one who has died.
No matter what the purpose, lighting a candle is always seen as a special act of worship. When Catholics light candles for the dead, they are reminded of the hope that Jesus Christ brings to those who believe in him. Christ’s resurrection from the dead shows that there is life after death and that those who believe in him will also share in his eternal life.
Can Anyone Light a Candle in a Catholic Church?
Yes! Catholics of all ages are welcome to light candles in church. In fact, many people find the act of lighting a candle to be a very powerful and personal way of praying. If you’re not sure how to get started, ask a priest or another member of the church community for guidance.
One thing to keep in mind is that candles should always be treated with respect. Be sure to follow any instructions that are posted near the candles, and never leave a burning candle unattended.
Candles Draw the Attention in Church
Have you ever noticed how, when you walk into a dark room, your eyes are immediately drawn to the light? The same is true when you enter a church. The flickering flames of the candles draw our attention and remind us that we are in the presence of God.
In a world that is often filled with darkness, the light of Christ can be a source of hope and comfort. When we light candles in church, we are reminded of his presence in our lives and the hope that he brings.
My name is Candice and I have always loved candles since I was a kid. I continue to buy candles and try out new candle brands to this day! I started this blog to share my love of candles so I’m glad you’re here and hope that my content helps you out in some way!