Thursday, April 09, 2009

Votive Candles During Lent

Question: Is improper to light votive candles in front of veiled statues?

Answer: Besides the obvious concern about whether or not the candles will light the veils on fire, we could look to "Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year" by Bishop Peter Elliott; in §217 he indicates that there should not be votive candles available prior to the Gloria at the Easter Vigil. Effectively, this means no vigil candles until after the Easter Vigil Mass. However, Elliot applies this only to the Triduum, but I'd imagine the same would still be true anytime when the statue is veiled, based on what seems to make sense. It seems to me that a vigil candle in front of a veiled statue or image is something akin to hiding an object under a bushel basket and then in the same location posting a big arrow sign that says "here it is".

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