Beeswax Candle History - Church Candles Online
Beeswax Candle History - Church Candles Online
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Beeswax Candles
The pure wax extracted by virgin bees from flowers symbolizes the pure flesh of Christ received from His Virgin Mother, the wick signifies the soul of Christ, and the flame represents His divinity which absorbs and dominates both. Although the two latter properties are found in all kinds of candles, the first is proper of beeswax candles only. Thus the great paschal candle represents Christ, "the true light", and the smaller candles are typical of each individual Christian who strives to reproduce Christ in his life. This symbolism we may say is still accepted in the Church at large.

It is, however, not necessary that they be made of beeswax without any admixture.

Made in the United States, ChurchCandlesOnline.com strives to offer only the highest quality 100% beeswax candles and 51% beeswax candles that exceed all liturgical standards.

Number of Candles at Mass

  1. At a pontifical high Mass, celebrated by the ordinary, seven candles are lighted. The seventh candle should be somewhat higher than the others, and should be placed at the middle of the altar in line with the other six. For this reason the altar crucifix is moved forward a little. In Requiem Masses, and at other liturgical services. e.g. Vespers, the seventh candle is not used. If the bishop celebrate outside his diocese. or if he be the administrator, auxiliary, or coadjutor, the seventh candle is not lighted.
  2. At a solemn high Mass, i.e. when the celebrant is assisted by a deacon and subdeacon, six candles are lighted. This is not expressly prescribed by the rubrics, but merely deduced from the rubric describing the manner of incensing the altar (Ritus celebrandi Missam, tit. iv, n. 4), which says that the celebrant incenses both sides of the altar with three swings of the censer prout distribuuntur candelabra.
  3. At a high Mass (missa cantata), which is celebrated without the assistance of deacon and subdeacon, at least four candles are required (Cong. Sac. Rit., 12 August, 1854), although six may be lighted. At these Masses under (l), (2), (3), the two lighted candles prescribed by the Missal (Rubr. XX) to be placed one on each side of the cross, are not necessary (Cong. Sac. Rit., 5 December, 1891).
  4. At low Mass celebrated by any bishop, four candles are usually lighted, although the "Caeremoniale Episc." (I, cap. xxix, n. 4) prescribes this number only for the more solemn feasts, and two on feasts of lower rite.
  5. At a strictly low Mass celebrated by any priest inferior to a bishop, whatever be his dignity, only two candles may be used.
  6. In a not strictly low Mass, i.e. in a parochial or community Mass on more solemn feasts or the Mass which is said instead of a solemn or high Mass on the occasion of a great solemnity (Cong. Sac. Rit., 12 September, 1857), when celebrated by a priest more than two candles, and when celebrated by a bishop more than four candles may be used.
At all functions throughout the year except on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, before the Mass bishops are allowed the use of the bugia or hand-candlestick. The use of the bugia is not permitted to priests, whatever be their dignity, unless it be granted by an Apostolic privilege either personal, or by reason of their being curial dignitaries. If, on account of darkness a priest stands in need of a light near the Missal he may use a candle, but the candlestick on which it is fastened cannot have the form of the bugia (Cong. Sac. Rit., 31 May, 1817). An oil lamp can never be used for this purpose (Cong. Sac. Rit., 20 June, l899). At the Forty Hours Devotion at least twenty candles should burn continuously (Instructio Clementina, section 6); at other public expositions of the Blessed Sacrament at least five (Cong. Sac. Rit., 8 February, 1879); at the private exposition, at least six (Cong. Episc. et Reg., 9 December, 1602). The only blessings at which Lighted candles are prescribed are:
  • of the candles on the feast of the Purification
  • of the ashes on Ash Wednesday;
  • of the palms on Palm Sunday.
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