Votive candles - do they have to be real?
#1
One suggestion for being a member of the Auxilium Christianorum is to keep statues of our Blessed Mother and St. Michael with a votive candle burning.

Do these have to be real candles with a lit flame, or can they be battery powered / electronic?

I'm guessing they can be battery powered since many churches utilize them as well.  I would prefer to keep a lit candle, but with young children running around the house playing, it becomes a safety hazard to leave a candle lit all day.
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#2
I don’t recommend having open flames in your home if you have young children. God isn’t going to hear your prayers better if you burn your house down in the process.
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#3
I believe its only necessary to light them when you're actually in prayer. Otherwise, it's kind of a fire hazard. Votive candles are a devotional item anyway, so don't feel obliged to use them.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

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#4
I've never seen the point of fake votive 'candles'. As I understand it, the symbolism of the candle is of our prayers rising to heaven. That's sort of lost with an electric light.

And if they're glass enclosed votive candles, properly secured, I'm not sure about the 'fire hazard''. Of course, I may be prejudiced. I once had a modernist Pastor who, after he 'wreckovated' the sanctuary, lied and said the fire code prohibited votive candles. He was proven a liar a few months later when a new Parish opened, complete with votive candle stands. Ours came back in short order.

Really, how many Churches burn down because of votive candles?
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
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#5
(10-06-2019, 03:43 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: Really, how many Churches burn down because of votive candles?

Enough.  St. Mary's in Belleville, Ill. did in the 1920s. St. Francis de Sales Oratory in St. Louis (ICRSS) came close a few years ago when a laic somehow caused the rack of votive candles to go thermonuclear, except for the quick thinking of two of the seminarians to extinguish it before it spread to the wooden altar rail and wall it was next to.  One of the local clergy's family died in a house fire started by a toppled candle, too. (Or so another priest told me -- when I was relating to him my own story of accidentally knocking one over at church).

Fire is fire, and combustibles are combustibles, regardless of the spiritual intention behind it.  I personally think it's better safe than sorry, especially around children, to only have a candle burning when actively monitored -- both the flame and the children -- by adults.

Either way, (this seems to be a theme in my recent posts), it's purely devotional and symbolic, and doesn't somehow increase the efficacy of prayer, so don't feel there's any requirement or rule to their use by laity.  The point of it is to act as an occasion to turn your mind further to prayer.
"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church -- which is, of course, quite a different thing." -Ven. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

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#6
So, one and a close call in a century. I've known, personally, two churches to burn down in the last 50 years, neither from votive candles. I agree with you that it's simply a matter of devotion, not of obligation, but I have in the past and I have many friends who still do, keep a votive candle burning in front of a favourite statue or picture of a Saint, or in their icon corner. Never known one to have a fire.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
  “Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog also.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'


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#7
Electronic candles are a horrible money grabber.
When younger I placed some coins in order to "light" these candles up during my prayers for my family, and just before leaving the church those false candles were off, waiting for someone to throw the next coin. If you want to remove real candles, that's none of my business, just don't place these cash grabbers in the house of God.
Ite ad Ioseph
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#8
(10-06-2019, 07:11 AM)LionHippo Wrote: One suggestion for being a member of the Auxilium Christianorum is to keep statues of our Blessed Mother and St. Michael with a votive candle burning.

Do these have to be real candles with a lit flame, or can they be battery powered / electronic?

I'm guessing they can be battery powered since many churches utilize them as well.  I would prefer to keep a lit candle, but with young children running around the house playing, it becomes a safety hazard to leave a candle lit all day.

I kept a lamp on in the window during the daytime for several months once. When the meth addicted wreck of a person who frequented my house asked me why the lamp was on during the daytime, I told her it was on for her. 

OTOH: I've paid for volite candles to be kept lit at http://www.amm.org (Association of the Miraculous Metal, Perryville, MO).


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#9
I'm a bit of a candle freak. I buy them in bulk. These and these and have them blessed. I also get ta set or two of the blessed beeswax at Candlemas time. Especially at this time of year when the days get shorter and there's more hours of darkness, they bring light and beauty to the home. Everything looks better by candlelight! 

If you have little kids running around, true you have to be careful. But as long as you or another adult is in the room, it should be okay.
"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
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#10
[Image: 6e3eba3483af47bd85547074d4a33932.jpg]

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"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
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