Because your friends won’t tell you: Liturgical candle lighting

If you are leading (some part of) worship and this involves lighting a candle before the congregation — this could be an Advent wreath, a flaming chalices, candles punctuating prayer or its alternative, or what have you — light it with some ceremony.

Don’t use a match, a lighter, or one of those clicky-things you’d use to start your barbecue grill.

Do take a page from chanukiah lighting and use a shamash (“servant”) candle to light the “main” candles. Indeed, Chanukah candles are perfect for this, so do get them on sale after the festival is over. If you don’t want to see the flame before the liturgical action, a secure but obscured tea light or votive candle (perhaps in a glass holder with opaque sides) can be rigged before the service.

Do prelight (and extinguish) all candles to be used before the service. The charred wick lights much faster; this is a fact we all know but which never seems to make a liturgical to-do list.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

1 comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.