Facts on the Christian Candle Lighter

Updated November 21, 2016

Candles are ritually lit in Christian orthodox tradition. To Christians, candles represent the light of Jesus. When visiting a Christian church, you will most likely find a lit candle placed on the altar. In Christianity, there are a variety of specific candles used, such as Baptismal candles, Sacristy candles, Paschal candles and Unity candles.

Lighting of the candles

There is a symbolic meaning to lit candles in the Christian Church. As told in the Old Testament of the Bible, Tabernacle services were held in the first temple by lamp light. Lamp lighting is also mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 20:8) "There were many lights in the upper chamber." This is in reference to the number of lamps lit with spiritual significance.

Why are candles lit?

Candles are lit as a sign of hope and faith in God, as well as a symbol of a burning love for God. During Christian ceremonies, there are often candlelight vigils that include taking lit candles home to protect homes against evil.

When are candles lit?

Candles are lit before each Christian ceremony, whether it be a weekly service or a special occassion. At a Holy Baptism, candles are lit before the baptismal font. For wedding ceremonies, candles are given to the bride and bridegroom and used to light a unity candle to symbolise two lives becoming one. During funeral services, candles are often lit and placed on the coffin to form a cross, identifying the deceased as a Christian.

What do lit candles mean?

Lit candles in a church show expression of adoration and love for God. Burning candles are a reminder of the Light of Heaven.

What is a candle lighter?

Lighting candles for a religious service is an important responsibility and vital part of Christian tradition. Traditionally, the mechanism used to light candles is called a candle lighter/snuffer. Traditional candle lighters not only light the candles but also feature a candle snuffer at the end, hence the name candlel ighter/snuffer. These beautiful telescoping devices are most commonly crafted out of brass or nickel plate and feature snuffers with a 2 inch diameter. The standard candle lighter/snuffer extends from 16 inches to 26 inches in order to reach candles placed high on an altar or church wall.

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About the Author

Karin Barga contributes to various online publications, specializing in topics related to canines, equines and business. She earned career diplomas in bridal consulting, business management and accounting essentials. Barga is a certified veterinary assistant, holds certification in natural health care for pets, and is a licensed realtor and property manager.