From a reader:
I have been searching for the answer to this question but cannot find the rubrics for altar candles.
Is it still mandated that altar candles during mass be of wax, or is it permissible to use the plastic look alikes with the oil lamp in the upper third that I see on the altars at a local parish?
No wonder the portion of the Easter Vigil liturgy that references the work of the bees gets left out!
The Exsultet bees get a vacation day when English is used, but the Latin bees are still busily buzzing in the Latin Exsultet. They will fly back in the new translation now being prepared.
My recollection is that the oil inserts instead of candles are not permitted. That is to say imitation candles are not permitted. That goes for both electric imitations and oil inserts.
Candles for Mass must be of wax. I am not sure if the percentage of real wax is laid down by law.
I think the sanctuary lamp can be either an oil lamp or wax, but it cannot be electric.
I can’t put my hands on the exact document right now, but I am sure a reader can help.
I think most altar candles in use these days, at least in the USA, are 51% beeswax. You can get 100%, but in warm weather they can get a little sporty.