Blessed Candles?

Today when I went to confession, a few minutes before it started a woman when up to our new parish priest and asked him to bless her candle. He asked her why. He said what’s the point, there aren’t any blessed candles in the church. She pleaded with him and he said okay and blessed the candle for her. he then stated that she will just be burning what he has blessed so it is counterproductive.

Firstly I didn’t know that the candles at the church weren’t blessed, I assumed everything was. Secondly is he spot on as she stated the previous priest would always bless them?

It wasn’t a secret conversation as they were right next to me. I am very easily confused though.


That’s absurd. For centuries the Church has blessed candles for both liturgical and private use. Candles for the faithful are blessed at baptisms and at the close of the Christmas Season on 2 Feb, also called Candlemas Day; but there’s no reason a parishioner can’t request a candle be blessed at another time. These blessed candles are traditionally used for anointing of the sick (particularly in the home), viaticum, and funerals. It is also a pious practice to light them on the vigil of All Souls.

As to votive candles in the church, I don’t think those are normally blessed, but I don’t know why.

(SIGH) Blessed candles are what are called “sacramentals”. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), paragraph 1667 introduces sacramentals:
“Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.”

The next few paragraphs of the CCC go into more detail, but for our purposes, blessed candles, blessed medals, etc. are all objects which, having been blessed, confer blessings when they are used properly. (I.E., rosaries become sacramentals when blessed, and are used properly when you use them for praying; they are improperly used when they are worn for decoration.)

In the past, most Catholic homes had blessed candles around. In fact, my parents had this huge crucifix that would open up to let you store two blessed candles, some matches, and holy water. The crucifix would fit into the base and you now had everything needed for a priest to give “Last Rites” (aka “Sacrament of the Sick” – very important to have around when many more people got sick and died at home instead of in hospitals.) Other people like to burn blessed candles before icons or other pictures of saints; and there are “pious traditions” associated with things like “the Three Days of Darkness” (which are not part of doctrine) which state that only blessed candles will burn during this time.

There are a couple of threads on CAF regarding sacramentals and the refusals of certain priests to bless rosaries and medals. The best advice I’ve pulled up from these threads is to meet with the priest privately and get confirmation of what he told her, and find out what objects he does bless. There are some priests who think the whole “blessing sacramentals” like candles, medals, rosaries, etc. thing is superstitious and won’t do it. These priests are acting in contradiction to the CCC and should be reported to the bishop. You should also post a question in the main “Apologetics” forum asking about using unblessed candles at church. If the priest should be blessing the candles before using them and is not, the bishop should be informed.

My first thought wasn’t votive candles, but rather the candles used on the altar aren’t blessed.

Hi Ad Orientem,

I do have some blessed candles at home.

I have many blessed Sacramentals.

People used blessed candles in their homes.

For example, some people may light candles when they pray or may keep candles lit in front of some of their statues in whatever they’re using as their personal prayer corners in their homes.

I remember the blessed candle (funny how I can only think of that in terms of “cierge béni” because that’s the only term I ever heard growing up) being lit and a prayer for protection said every time there was a thunder storm.

The *Rituale Romanum *in use in 1962 is permitted by Pope Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum. It has a specific Catholic ritual for blessing candles:

    P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
    All: Who made heaven and earth.
    P: The Lord be with you.
    All: May He also be with you.
    Let us pray.
    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, bless these candles at our lowly request. Endow them, Lord, by the power of the holy cross, with a blessing from on high, you who gave them to mankind in order to dispel darkness. Let the blessing that they receive from the sign of the holy cross be so effectual that, wherever they are lighted or placed, the princes of darkness may depart in trembling from all these places, and flee in fear, along with all their legions, and never more dare to disturb or molest those who serve you, the almighty God, who live and reign forever and ever.
    All: Amen.
    They are sprinkled with holy water.

If the Church specifically encourages it with an official blessing, then candle blessings are something she wants for her members.

That’s a good idea.

I like that.

FWIW, I hae a PDF file that, when printed out on both sides and folded together, forms a booklet of prayers for blessing and exorcising salt, which can then be used for blessed and exorcised water, plus blessings for oil (used for blessing your home), St. Benedict medals, as well as candles. It’s a good source of spiritual warfare blessings.

You can find a copy of the booklet on my web page. If you go to my web page (, click on the “Downloads” menu, and download “Sacramental Blessings and Exorcisms.pdf”; remember to print on both sides of the paper, then fold into a booklet.

I have been wondering about this also so I wanted to thank the IP for starting this thread, although I forgot to notice the date this thread started so please forgive me.

I have wanted to know, for example, about having blessed candles in my home in case I’m living here at the time of the Three Days of Darkness. All of God’s elect are supposed to light only blessed candles and keep the candles on a table with a Crucifix and any blessed statues of saints, statues of the Blessed Mother, plus other sacramentals and pray the Rosary. All I keep reading is to keep blessed candles in case of emergencies, praying for the sick, storms, etc… God said that only blessed candles will light in the homes of His elect.

My question: Must the blessed candles be made of BEES WAX, or will any regular candles that you can buy from a grocery store work just as well, just make sure they are blessed?

A very good friend of mine who is a very devout Roman Catholic advised me to definitely get bees wax candles because they burn slower and last longer, like a tall pillar bees wax candle I think would be appropriate.

Maybe I should have started a new thread. Thank you.

In the past, only candles made of 100% beeswax could be used on the altars. That’s because beeswax is the cleanest-burning of the natural waxes. Tallow candles produce a large amount of soot, which is troublesome (to say the least) when you’ve got candles burning for hours in an enclosed space such as a church. The same goes for making lamps that burn natural oils, such as olive oil, vegetable oil, or rancid butter.

Paraffin is what might be called an artificial wax, as it’s made from petroleum distillates. Originally, it was cleaner-burning than tallow, but still not good enough for use in churches. However, with the development of purer forms of paraffin and the high cost of beeswax, the rules were modified to allow candles that were 51% beeswax and 49% paraffin. Recently, since paraffin has become so much cleaner-burning, the beeswax rule has been eliminated and you can use paraffin wax candles on altars. In fact, at my previous church, they use liquid paraffin candles.

Personally, I would still buy candles to be blessed from a religious supply store to ensure the best quality. A number of the store candles (especially the ones from Mexico in the glass jars with the saints pictures) either have contaminated waxes, or use metal-core wicks. These wicks have a thin wire, usually zinc, down the middle of the wick. This makes it easier to get long wicks used in the glass candles to stand up when pouring the wax. However, it turns out these wicks can produce toxic gasses, I’m not aware of any of the stores that sell candle-making supplies still selling metal-core wicks, but I’d still avoid the candles from Mexico.

We always had a blessed candle in the house when I was growing up. My mother was terrified of bad thunderstorms and tornadoes, so when we had a bad storm or a warning, she’d light the candle and put it in the sink so it wouldn’t start a house fire.

Seems like I’ve read a couple other threads about priests who do not understand the concept of blessed sacramentals. :rolleyes: Unless there was some question about the type of the candle being inappropriate for blessing, he should have just done it without question.