Blessed Candles are sacramentals. This means that Holy Church by her prayers and blessings makes them sacred articles, which, when used with respect and great faith, bestow countless blessings and graces on all.
On February second, which we call Candlemas, the Church blesses wax candles in a most solemn ceremony. On this day, we honor the Divine Child Jesus as a Light to illumine the Gen¬tiles. At the blessing, on this day, the priest pronounces five beautiful prayers. In the first prayer, he ad¬dresses Almighty God as follows: “0 holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, we humbly beseech Thee that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless and to sanctify these candles for the service of men, and for the health of bodies and souls, be they on land or water, and wouldst hear from Thy holy heaven, from the Throne of Thy Majesty, the voice of this Thy people, who desire reverently to bear them in their hands and to praise Thee in song: and wouldst- show mercy to all that call upon Thee.”
In this blessing, the effects of the blessed candles are briefly stated. The other prayers continue to explain these effects.
If, during the year, the priest is asked to bless candles, he uses the fol¬lowing prayer: “0 Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, we implore Thee to bless these candles, and through the power of the holy Cross, to bestow upon them Thy heavenly benediction, who has given them to mankind to dispel darkness and may they, through the sign of the holy Cross, obtain such blessing that wherever they may be lighted or wherever they be placed the powers of darkness may vanish, trembling and affrighted, with all their aids and accomplices, and be driven from these dwellings, and never again dare disquiet or molest them that serve Thee, Almighty God.”
The above proves to us what rich blessings we derive through the merits of Jesus Christ when we use the blessed candles in a spirit of faith. When we do not make frequent use of blessed candles we lose precious graces.
When and why we should use Blessed Candles
Holy Church prescribes blessed candles to be used at every Holy Mass—in conferring all the Sacraments—in public processions—at Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament—in all solemn functions and around the dead.
The Faithful should make use of them
1. In times of sickness or plague.
2. When storms are raging, on land or sea.
3. In seasons of drought or excessive rains.
4. Every day, at least for a short period, to ask God’s protection in the home and on members of the family.
5. To prevent discord, hatred and ill-will.
6. In times of doubt, distress and anxiety.
7. When a child is born.
8. When in danger from fire or flood.
9. In times of persecution.
10. Burning constantly at the bed¬side of the dying.
11. For the relief of the Souls in Purgatory.
Vincent Taylor, O.S.B.
Abbot Nullius of
who ever knew that there were so many uses for candles, very interesting
Being quite ignorant of my faith, I had only read of “Candlemas” in an Anglican setting. Now I know better. At Mass on Sunday, the priest gave an excellent sermon on candles and their use and symbolism in the Church. Much of it was what you have posted here, but there was one point I had never thought about that really struck me – how the candle is a representation of Christ. The wax, traditionally beeswax, was pure as He is pure. The wick symbolised his human nature, and the flame symbolised His divine nature; this being a good reflection of the hypostatic union. Now when I see a lighted candle I’ll always be reminded of this.
And next Candlemas I’m going to have a stack of candles blessed!