How to Use Catholic Prayer Candles: A Meaningful Practice

Published February 23, 2021
Religious candles offered and placed by devotees at a Catholic shrine

You can learn how to use Catholic prayer candles with a few quick tips. You can use Catholic prayer candles at home for a variety of reasons.

How to Use Catholic Prayer Candles in Five Easy Steps

Some people find that having a Catholic prayer candle to light during their home prayer practices to be a wonderful tribute to God and the sacrifice Jesus made. Five easy steps can help you get the most out of using a Catholic prayer candle at home.

Step One: Buy the Appropriate Prayer Candle

In the church, votives are lit in front of the statues of Christ, Mother Mary, and various saints. This is something you can imitate at home when you purchase a prayer candle that has one of these images. However, these prayer candles come in tall glass containers. They are often referred to as Mexican prayer candles since the images usually have wording in Spanish and English. These candles are also used during the Day of the Dead celebrations.

A Mexican Tribute To Our Lady of Guadalupe

You should decide which one you wish to pray to and the buy the candle that matches, such as the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These candles are often called 7-day candles since they ordinarily will burn continuously for 7 days, although the actual burn time can vary depending on different factors. These candles are often white to represent the divinity and purity of Christ, Mother Mary, and the saints. However, you can find them in different colors should you wish a color other than white. You can also purchase non-image 7-day candles in solid and rainbow colors.

Step Two: Bless the Candle

There are several ways you can bless your candle before using. You can choose the one you're most comfortable doing.

  • Some Catholics like to have their candles blessed by a priest.
  • You can also bless the candle yourself with sacred oil.
  • You can bless the candle using Holy water.
  • Another way is to simply pray to Christ to bless your candle.

Step Three: Choose a Time to Light Your Catholic Prayer Candles

You can use more than one candle if you are praying for more than one reason or more than one person. There is no limit on the number of candles you can burn. Just be sure you never leave the candles unattended, since glass candles can break. One of the preferred times to light a Catholic prayer candle is at the Holy Hour. This is the hour when Jesus died on the cross. 3 pm is also known as the Hour of Great Mercy or the Hour of Divine Mercy.

Step Four: Pray and Light Your Catholic Prayer Candle

The Catholic prayer candle is lit while you pray. It is common practice that you start your prayer and light your candle with the first words of your prayer. You can extinguish the match or lighter while you continue to pray. At the end of your prayer, be sure to say, "Amen." However, just because you end your prayer, it doesn't mean that your prayer is concluded. It is believed that as long as your candle burns, your prayer is still being sent to God, Christ, or whoever you prayed to, such as a Saint or the Virgin Mary.

Step Five: Allow Your Candle to Self-Extinguish

The ideal protocol is to allow your Catholic prayer candle to self-extinguish. When the fire goes out, your prayer ends. If you must extinguish your candle, don't blow it out. Instead, you should snuff it out with a candle snuffer or other method. Blowing out a candle is symbolic of blowing away the prayer.

Religious Catholic Candles

Facts About Catholic Prayer Candles

There is nothing to prevent you from praying anytime and anywhere. That is the freedom of religion.

What Are Catholic Prayer Candles?

There are several types of Catholic prayer candles that are used in church worship services and also for prayers. Candles are also used in homes for Advent and Lenten wreaths.

Why Do Catholics Use Prayer Candles?

Candles have been used by Christians throughout the centuries. The light of the candle represents the Christ who is the Light of the World. Catholics use prayer candles to pray for assistance and guidance. Prayers may be said for God to grant the person strength to see a challenge through or to come to terms with something that cannot be fixed or corrected. Prayers are made on the behalf of other people who are sick. Prayers are said for the deceased, so their souls will be received in heaven.

Why and How to Use Catholic Prayer Candles at Home

Catholic prayer candles come in many choices that include images of Christ, Mother Mary, and saints. You can use Catholic prayer candles to practice your prayers at home to pray to a specific religious figure.

How to Use Catholic Prayer Candles: A Meaningful Practice