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Why Does The Catholic Church Use Beeswax Candles?

The History Of Beeswax Candle Use By The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church has a long history of using beeswax candles in their religious ceremonies and rituals. From the altar candles to the Paschal candle, beeswax candles play an important role in the Catholic Church.

The use of beeswax candles can be traced back to the early days of Christianity, when they were used in liturgical ceremonies and to illuminate churches.

Beeswax candles were traditionally used because of their natural sweet scent and the belief that they emitted positive energy, which was thought to purify the air and create a more sacred environment. Additionally, using beeswax candles was seen as a way to honour the work of the bees and their role in the ecosystem.

In the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church began to regulate the production of beeswax candles for liturgical use. The Church established strict guidelines for the production of beeswax candles, including the requirement that they be made from pure beeswax and that they be blessed by a priest before use.

Today, the Catholic Church continues to use beeswax candles in their liturgical ceremonies, such as the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours. 

What Do Beeswax Candles Symbolise?

The natural light that is produced by the burning of the beeswax candles is seen as a symbol of the light of Christ, and the sweet natural scent that is emitted is seen as a symbol of the presence of the Holy Spirit.  

image of catholic altar with 6 beeswax dinner candles next to the cross of christ

Altar candles, also known as the sanctuary candles and made from beeswax,  are commonly used in liturgical ceremonies such as the Mass, where they are lit on the altar and symbolize the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

They are also still used in other sacraments such as Confirmation and Holy Orders where they are believed to symbolize the light of faith that is given to the person who receives the sacrament.

The Paschal candle, also known as the Easter candle, is a large beeswax candle that is lit during the Easter Vigil and symbolizes the resurrection of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Aside from being beautiful, beeswax candles hold a special meaning in the Catholic Church, representing the light of Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the tradition and history of the Church. They are used in a variety of liturgical ceremonies and sacraments, and continue to be an important part of Catholic worship today.

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If you are looking to purchase beeswax candles, check out our natural beeswax candle collection here.

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