ASK FATHER: What sort of candles can be blessed at Candlemas?

Here is an oldie question from a reader…


If I bring personal candles to the EF mass on Candlemass, must they be made of beeswax? Can they be entirely made of non-beeswax (paraffin)?
Not sure if the old regulations about things like this still apply to the EF.

We had a really good discussion about candles and what they can be made of HERE.

Given that discussion, and based even on the modern rules, my opinion is that it is far better for the candles to be wax candles, at least in part.  That is certainly the case for anything to be used in church.  I suppose it could be less strictly applied to candles not for use in church.

Still… let those candles be wax candles if at all possible.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. APX says:

    I was always under the impression they had to be at least 51% beeswax. The Dominican Soap sisters have some really nice 100% beeswax tapers they sell for only $10/pair. I wish our parish would get rid of paraffin candles. I realize that beeswax costs more, but the walls where the votive candles are kept are black from the toxins that are produced from burning them.

  2. Bosco says:

    Dear Father Z.,

    I live in rural west Ireland. I purchased a number of candles (100%) beeswax in anticipation of having them blessed on Candlemas day so that I might give some to my neighbours. Well, as luck or misfortune would have it, there was a snowstorm with accompanying ice and the 8-mile journey to have them blessed at Mass in the town was too treacherous and I’m left with a box of unblessed candles.

    My question is: Notwithstanding Candlemas has come and gone can I still present these candles to the priest to have them receive the special blessings of that day or is it too late for that?

    We’re all well-up in years here and we often burn these blessed candles in fierce Irish weather.

  3. Imrahil says:

    I’m inclined to say (for personal use, etc.; liturgical use would I guess be different):

    as long as it is not an electric face-candle, or an oil-lamp in the shape of a candle…

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