Saint Joseph’s :: Album :: Q & A

Saint Joseph's sanctuary at Easter - lots of candles present.

Why Do We Have Candles At Mass?

If you’ve grown up with candles at mass you may never have given them too much thought. Like most things that we do in the church, candles were originally used for both symbolic as well as practical reasons.

Imagine the dark churches of Northern Europe in the winters before electric lighting. Also, during times of persecution Christians often used to meet before dawn - you don’t have to be a genius to work out that they needed some form of lighting in order to celebrate the liturgy. Perhaps it’s better to let the early Church speak for itself. In the fourth century, Saint Jerome wrote: “Throughout the Churches of the East, lights are kindled when the Gospel is to be read, although the sun is shining: not, indeed, to drive away the darkness but as a sign of sprirtual joy”.

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