From a reader:
My wife recently completed a course on how to make yellow beeswax candles. My pastor has indicated he would love to receive them as a donation for requiem Masses, funerals, Tenebrae, All Souls, Good Friday, etc. (we have a weekly TLM during the week, but otherwise 100% ordinary form). These things are ridiculously-cheap to make, so we might just start mass-producing them for the area, and even get the kids involved.
I consulted the GIRM, but there’s no candle rubrics there beyond the fact that there must be at least two at a Mass.
The Catholic Encyclopedia said that yellow beeswax candles are appropriate for the above Masses, and bleached ones for other Masses. Admixtures of other ingredients are permitted.
I assume the candles should be blessed, ideally at a Candlemas.
Anything else we should know before we start cranking them out?
Keep in mind that the Catholic Encyclopedia online concerns the older way of doing things. The GIRM has to do with the Novus Ordo.
That said, yellow, as you put it, or “unbleached” beeswax candles are a fine thing for Masses of the Dead, Requiems, etc. They change the aspect of the Mass, as does the color of vestments (please, Lord, let it be black). They smell marvelous.
I am all for getting the kids involved. Some time ago when I visited Norfolk, VA to give a talk and celebrate a High Mass, I was given a pair of unbleached candles which the children of a friend had made. They were very welcome and I used them for daily Masses of for the Dead.
Don’t forget the candles used for the blessing of throats on St. Blaise day. Sometimes they are found twisted together in a special shape. There are also the small candles used for processions. And you might think about some special candles for baptisms. When I baptize, I suggest that people keep the candle and put a label on it with the occasion, place and name of the priest as well. They can use that candle, perhaps, for Communion calls in years to come, or even as a candle on the altar at a future wedding or profession.
I don’t know what to add. I hope you can create a market for the candles, perhaps at Church goods stores.
Keep in mind that there are different sizes of candlesticks. Some of them are quite large, and go in the large holders along the sides of coffins. Also, there are different sizes of candle followers. The size of the follower does make a difference. Candles burn better with the correct size of follower. You might want to test your candles with followers. Also, if they are pure beeswax, you might want to avoid making them very tall and thin. Many are the large altar candles I have seen which list and are bent from the burden of a summer’s heat.
Perhaps some of the readers here have some experience of making candles for the altar.