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Candles and the Orthodox Church

Updated: May 25, 2020

Upon entering a church one lights a candle. Although it seems simple it is actually a very deep and meaningful act.

By lighting a candle it is not only for oneself, but for family members and anyone else for God to watch over.

Different meanings

Lighting a candle is making an offering to God. It is offering our prayers and thanks to Him for His blessings.

Lighting a candle is a symbol of prayer. The act of lighting a candle is a prayer without words, although still say a prayer as one lights a candle.

The light represents the people and the Faith. When standing in church one is like the flame, alive and attentive to the Word of God. Therefore, it represents one’s presence in the church. It is also a reminder that Christ is the LIGHT of the world and the FLAME is the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, the candle is like a person – coming into the church from the world with a harden heart. Just as the heat of the flame melts the wax making it soft, hopefully the same will happen for the individual and their heart will soften and accept God.

At most candle stands there will be one main candle in the middle. Light your candle from this one – it is symbolic as this main candle (representing Christ) offers light to all the small ones (the people).


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