Non Catholics often ponder on some sacramentals that are used in the Catholic church which among them is the use of the Candle.
The candlelight in the early church fulfilled different purposes – as the significant symbol which reminds the worshipers the position of Christ as the Light of the world and to serve as a physical light that illuminates the environment during worship. To some non-Catholics, the use of candle light ends in the brightening of the environment and not as a symbol of adoration. However, most school of thoughts pointed the use of candles as a remembrance of the early Christians who celebrated Mass in the catacombs by candlelight. It is therefore believed that the sacrifice they offer as well as the possibility others could be in a similar situation, celebrating Mass under threat of persecution.
The use of the candles by Catholic has always been used in the Church in a symbolic way. From ancient times the lighted candle has been seen as a symbol of Christ who came to show the way.
Is it Biblical to Use Candle During Worship?
In the book of John 8:12, Jesus applies the title to himself while debating with the Jews and states: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life“.
Jesus had always presented himself as the light, the way and the life. His presence in our lives means the absence of darkness. As such the use of the candle reminds the Catholics the existence of Christ as the light of the world. The Bible further emphasized on the importance of the light. Using the candle light in Luke 11:33; saying; “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light“.
Mark 4:21-22: “He said to them, ‘is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lamp stand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light“.
In many verses of the Bible, fire is correlated with God. In modern cultures, candles provide people with an object for focusing their feelings and prayers on Jesus Christ as the light of the world.
The candles represent the eternal light of God. Catholic candles are used in various religious rites and ceremonies, especially during prayers.
Today, candles remain the most common image of the Catholic church. Candles are often referred to as prayer candles or intention candles since the individual lighting the candle makes prayers with a specific intention.
Some Reasons Individuals Light Candles
For the ritual belief/faith. Most individuals light up the candle for different justifications. Catholics often light candles for an individual. This may be for the soul of a deceased loved one or someone who is sick. Prayers are said for those in need of divine intervention or a divine blessing. Individuals also light prayer candles when seeking divine guidance or help.
The lighting of a votive candle isn’t always in a prayer of request. Some Catholics light a candle in gratitude for the blessings bestowed on them.
The use of the Candle in the Catholic church is biblical. It symbolizes Christ Jesus as the light of the world and constantly reminds us of the importance of light over darkness.