Saturday, June 21, 2008


Ah! As I feared there were a couple of you who pointed out candle usage in the church that I had missed! So this week will then be the final one on candles – which turns out to be a good thing as all of my reference books are now boxed up from which I would start a new topic.

The advent wreath is an obvious one. But strictly speaking it does not belong in the church but in the refectory (or dining room) though it is common practice now. If you are interested in reading more about the advent wreath, here is an old post on it.

Then there are the candles used on St. Blaise Day (Thank you Ashley) for the blessing of throats. There are variations on the story of Saint Blaise, but basically it is thought that he miraculously saved a young boy from choking to death on a fish bone. Later, when this bishop and physician was imprisoned, the mother of the boy he saved snuck him food, candles, and writing utensils through the bars of his cell. After his martyrdom cures were granted through his intercession and thus did he become a saint. The candles, which are now used to bless people on his feast day, (left unlit for safety reasons) not only represent Christ, but this great, costly, and possibly risky act of charity.

The candles are crossed and most commonly placed on either side of the neck and the following prayer is said, “Though the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may you be protected from every disease of the throat and from every other illness in the name of the Father and of Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

ANSWERS TO YESTERDAY’S QUIZ: (Is anyone terribly surprised that Rob got them all? I even checked my answers to his just to make sure!)

1. Mary Magdalene
2. Saint Stephen
3. Lamech in Genesis 4:17-24
4. Saint Stephen
5. Able
6. The Vulgate
7. “Let there be light.”
8. Abraham
9. Adam


Anonymous said...

ROFL! I just got a mental image of the blessing using LIT candles.... WOOSH! LOL!

Odysseus said...


Actually, I was afraid that Adoro got 8 and 9 right because I was doing chronological order, but I believe (haven't checked) that textually Luke's gospel begins with Joseph and works its way back, no?

Anonymous said...

Rob...that's the one I looked up. So whatever I said on THAT question was what the Ignatius RSV-CE said. :-)