Many were 'borrowed' or drawn from early pre-Christian traditions. The candle is used in the religious ceremonies of many different faiths. The lighting effects created by candles were used for for decoration and ambiance. In Christianity a candle is a symbol that represents the light of God or the light of Christ.
The Definition and Meaning of the Candles as a Catholic Christian Symbol
Catholic Christian symbolism in art provides a clear graphic illustration which represents people or items of religious significance. What is the definition and the meaning of the use of Candles in religion? The Candles as Christian Symbols represents the light of God or the light of Christ. Candles are used in processions, at the altar and are lit as a sign of remembrance or to accompany prayer.
Candlemas celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple which is held on February 2nd. The term Candlemas derives from the tradition of blessing candles on this feast and carrying them in procession as a symbol of the "Light to Lighten the Nations".
The Seven-Branched Candlestick - the Menorah
The The Seven-Branched Candlestick, called the Menorah, represents the Holy Spirit and its seven gifts:
- Fear of the Lord
- Delight in the Lord.
The Colors of the Candles
The colors of candles is significant:
- White Candles represent the liturgical color of Christmas. On Christmas Eve the Christmas wreath has a white candle in the center symbolising purity
and joy. It is known as the Christ candle which represents Christ born on Christmas day.
- The Pink candle, the Advent candle used on the third Sunday of Advent traditionally when the congregation was given a break from fasting
- Purple candles match the liturgical color of Advent
- Some religions use Blue candles during Lent
Reference to the Candles in the Bible
The Easton Bible Dictionary provides the following definition, meaning and emblem for the Candles a Christian Symbol in the Bible. Heb. ner, Job 18:6; 29:3; Ps. 18:28; Prov. 24:20, in all which places the Revised Version and margin of Authorized Version have "lamp," by which the word is elsewhere frequently rendered. The Hebrew word denotes properly any kind of candle or lamp or torch. It is used as a figure of conscience (Prov. 20:27), of a Christian example (Matt. 5:14, 15), and of prosperity (Job 21:17; Prov. 13:9).
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
"I am the Light of the World" (John 8:12).