Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 2:
Nowhere. Yet the Bible recommends prayer for the dead, and nowhere forbids the burning of a candle from religious motives as an expression of prayer and a symbol of our belief in Christ as the Light of the World.
You are welcome to ask any questions you wish about Catholic teachings or practices. But there is no such thing in the Catholic religion as "Votive Lamp system." In itself, the lighting of a lamp before an altar or a shrine as an expression of piety is quite a legitimate practice. A person, unable to give himself continuously to prayer, may leave a lamp burning as a tangible expression of his faith, and love and devotedness to God. And he may even regard it as a silent prayer to God, asking God's blessing and protection. A modern writer has recently said, "I am always strangely moved when I see the white beams of the votive candles in a Church, modestly crowded together in some corner by the altar—as if they were living souls shining there, and consuming away in their own fire; the faithful candles which we put there. We have to go; but they remain in our place in the sacred building, until their service has wasted them to the last drop." As a simple religious practice, therefore, votive candles are quite justifiable. But, as with all religious practices, excess is possible, and excesses are always to be condemned. Moderation is necessary in all things.