CATHOLICISM and CANDLE USE (PART 1) By: Rev. Fr. Daniel Adjei Aboagye

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By: Rev. Fr. Daniel Adjei Aboagye


Fr. Daniel Adjei Aboagye


Do candles today serve any practical purpose of illuminating our churches which are decorated with sophisticated lighting systems? If not, why does the church still keep to the use of candle in our celebrations?

Why does the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) even give instruction of the positions of candles in our liturgical settings when it writes: “The candles, which are required at every liturgical service out of reverence and on account of the festiveness of the celebration, are to be appropriately placed either on or around the altar” (GIRM 307).


The use of candles in church has generated some questions in the minds of Catholics since they see candles used in the occultic world, satanic temples and other diabolical ritual activities.

This article is aimed at offering some resources to help clear the doubts in the minds of Catholics in such state of confusion.

Before I proceed, I would like to point out that a catholic cannot miss the origins and symbolisms in our worship and expect to have a comprehensive understanding of our beliefs and worship.

Again, what is right and godly always has a counterfeit in our world. This is not only in the world of materiality but also in the world of spirituality.

Thus, don’t be confused and equate the godly symbolisms in catholic worship with that which is employed diabolically in other world of rituals and worship.

Origin of Candles in Catholic Worship

The origins of the use of candles go back centuries. The symbolism of light has long been used in religious practices, as well as the general usage of candles.

In Judaism, a perpetual light was kept burning in the Temple and synagogues to show the presence of God. Candles were also used in Roman pagan culture for religious and military processions, showing the divine favor and presence of the gods.

Christians adapted the use of lighted candles for Mass, liturgical processions, evening prayer ceremonies, funeral processions, and to show reverence to the Blessed Sacrament. It is also likely that candles or oil lamps were burned at the tombs of the saints, particularly martyrs.


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