Author Topic: Question about candles  (Read 319 times)

Offline Daniel

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2286
  • Thanked: 482 times
Question about candles
« on: January 02, 2019, 04:28:27 PM »
I'm not sure I ever understood the theology behind the candles.

I am wondering, why is it ok to light candles? Christ abolished the sacrifices, yet Catholics light candles.

Also, why is it ok to offer candles to the saints? From what I've heard, sacrifices are a sign of latria. So how is this practice not a kind of idolatry?
 

Offline Josephine87

  • Mary Garden
  • Korporal
  • **
  • Posts: 329
  • Thanked: 321 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Question about candles
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 11:05:20 PM »
In what way is a candle a sacrifice? Do you mean because they were historically made with animal fat? I thought they had to be beeswax to be used and blessed.
"Begin again." -St. Teresa of Avila

ďMy present trial seems to me a somewhat painful one, and I have the humiliation of knowing how badly I bore it at first. I now want to accept and to carry this little cross joyfully, to carry it silently, with a smile in my heart and on my lips, in union with the Cross of Christ. My God, blessed be Thou; accept from me each day the embarrassment, inconvenience, and pain this misery causes me. May it become a prayer and an act of reparation." -Elisabeth Leseur
 

Offline Daniel

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2286
  • Thanked: 482 times
Re: Question about candles
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 06:06:17 AM »
I'll first point out, not all sacrifices are animal sacrifices. In the Old Testament there were also grain sacrifices and incense sacrifices. I'm not sure about candles though. (The closest thing I can find would be the menorah, but that's a little different.)

But I would say that candles seem to be a sacrifice because they're basically a kind of burnt offering. The candle is lit and then totally consumed by the fire. Not only that, but the candle is beeswax. Beeswax is better than the cheap stuff, and more expensive, so it's more of a sacrifice.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 06:17:21 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline Stubborn

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 906
  • Thanked: 368 times
Re: Question about candles
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 07:49:46 AM »
The Altar candles are 100% beeswax, but the votive candles, the ones the people light only need to be 51% beeswax. 

Lighting candles has nothing to do with sacrifice, not sure where that idea even came from.

It's really very simple; when we light a candle, we say a prayer, most often for a certain intention - as long as that candle burns, that prayer goes up to heaven. I like to think of the lit candle, and I think this is true for all Catholics who light a candle, as a type of alert to heaven, a constant reminder of our pleading if you will until the candle goes out.

A long time ago I lit I think 8 or 10 candles in thanksgiving for a favor I received - you may light as many as you wish, just remember to always put the donation in there lol. 

   
Even after a long life of sin, if the Christian receives the Sacrament of the dying with the appropriate dispositions, he will go straight to heaven without having to go to purgatory. - Fr. M. Philipon; This sacrament prepares man for glory immediately, since it is given to those who are departing from this life. - St. Thomas Aquinas; It washes away the sins that remain to be atoned, and the vestiges of sin; it comforts and strengthens the soul of the sick person, arousing in him a great trust and confidence in the divine mercy. Thus strengthened, he bears the hardships and struggles of his illness more easily and resists the temptation of the devil and the heel of the deceiver more readily; and if it be advantageous to the welfare of his soul, he sometimes regains his bodily health. - Council of Trent
 
The following users thanked this post: Lynne, Acolyte, Josephine87

Offline Philip G.

  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 236
  • Thanked: 122 times
  • Ordinaria Cultus
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Question about candles
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 12:17:08 AM »
When I think of candle use, I don't think of sacrificing the candle.  I think of being old fashioned.  It wasn't that long ago that my ancestors were using candles/flame to light their way.  I find that to be the sacred element.
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 

Offline Davis Blank - EG

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Korporal
  • **
  • Posts: 338
  • Thanked: 425 times
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: Question about candles
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 06:54:53 AM »
This is the classic western mindset, gotta question everything and destroy the beauty behind it.  I am not attempting to be flippant or dodge the question.
 Sometimes when we analyze something too much we end up beating it into the ground, and all that's left are meaningless bits of info & data.

If your primary concern is idolatry, is it not enough that both the Catholic & Orthodox do it to indicate that its licit?
 
The following users thanked this post: mikemac, Lynne, Josephine87, Philip G., Christopherus

Offline Gardener

  • Drink the poison yourself.
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8036
  • Thanked: 5305 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Question about candles
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2019, 10:59:09 AM »
Not just Catholic and Orthodox. Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, et al.; even some evangelicals are starting to reintegrate incense and candles in their services. Many Protestants engage in use of sacramentals, even if they arenít as overtly religious as medals and rosaries.
Lent: Only on Sundays.

"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

Providence is a present mystery by which our hope is confirmed and our faith solidified, if we give not into despair or disbelief.
 
The following users thanked this post: Josephine87

Offline aquinas138

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 874
  • Thanked: 765 times
  • Māran etraḥam 'lay!
Re: Question about candles
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2019, 12:43:16 PM »
This is the classic western mindset, gotta question everything and destroy the beauty behind it.  I am not attempting to be flippant or dodge the question.
 Sometimes when we analyze something too much we end up beating it into the ground, and all that's left are meaningless bits of info & data.

If your primary concern is idolatry, is it not enough that both the Catholic & Orthodox do it to indicate that its licit?

Bingo. If Catholics of all rites, the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, AND the Assyrian Church, and the various offshoots of all the foregoing all agree on some practice, then, friends, that's an infallible sign of permissibility that really needs no definition.
O unashamed intercessor of Christians, ever loyal advocate before the Creator, do not disregard the prayerful voice of sinners but in your goodness hasten to assist us who trustfully cry out to you: Intercede always, O Mother of God, in behalf of those who honor you!