votive candles?

Started by Iamchristian, September 20, 2020, 02:32:22 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


In Catholic Churches we light votive candles. I have never really understood what "votive" refers to. Are people who light those candles supposed to take a vow?
Is there a reason why the candles we light in Catholic Ccurches look something like this:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Grace_Cathedral_-_Votive_Rack.jpg ???


I could be completely wrong, but I was always under the impression that "vote" means "petition". I think that you're supposed to pray a prayer of petition, and then you light the candle, (or maybe you light the candle fist, I don't know,) and then I think that the candle symbolizes your prayers or something. But I'm not sure. I think the candle is a sacramental, so maybe there's some hidden reality going on (not just symbolism).

As for why the look like that, my guess is probably for practical reasons. By having them in a rack they tack up less space. And by not having the flame exposed, there's probably less risk of the flame going out and/or inadvertently starting a fire. But again, this is all just my guess.