Author Topic: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?  (Read 2617 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Orthodoc

  • Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,526
  • Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.
Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« on: May 14, 2004, 10:36:22 AM »
> WHY ARE VIGIL LIGHTS LIT BEFORE ICONS?
> By St. Nicolai Velimirovich
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----
> FIRST -- because Christ said: "I am the light of the world" (Jn 8:12). The
> lamp reminds us of our faith that Christ illumines our souls.
>
> SECOND -- to remind us of the radiance of the saint before whose icon we
> light the lamp, for they are sons of light (Jn 12:36, Lk 16:8).
>
> THIRD -- as a reproach for our dark deeds, evil thoughts and desires, and to
> call us to the path of evangelical light; so that we would more zealously
> fulfill the commandment of the Savior: "Let you light so shine before men,
> that they may see your good works" (Mt. 5:16).
>
> FOURTH -- as a small sacrifice to God who gave Himself completely as a
> sacrifice for us; as a small sign of our great gratitude and radiant love
> for Him from Whom we ask for life, health, salvation and everything that
> only boundless heavenly love can bestow.
>
> FIFTH -- to strike the evil powers that assail us even when we pray, leading
> our mind away from the Creator; for they love darkness and tremble at light,
> especially that of God and those who please Him.
>
> SIXTH -- to rouse us to selflessness; for just as the oil and wick are
> submissive to our will, so our souls should burn with the flame of love in
> all our sufferings, always being submissive to God's will.
>
> SEVENTH -- to teach us that as a vigil lamp cannot be lit without our hand,
> so our heart, our inner lamp, cannot be lit without the holy fire of God's
> grace, even if filled with virtues for they, after all, are combustible
> material, but the fire that ignites them comes from God.
>
> EIGHTH -- to remind us that before anything else, the Creator of the world
> created light, and then everything else in order: "And God said, let there
> be light: and there was light" (Gen 1:3). And it must be so also at the
> beginning of our spiritual life, so that before all else the light of
> Christ's truth would shine in us. From this light then, every good deed is
> created, springs up and grows in us.


=======

Orthodoc
Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.

Offline Fr. David

  • The Poster Formerly Known as "Pedro"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,833
Re:Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2004, 11:44:48 AM »
> WHY ARE VIGIL LIGHTS LIT BEFORE ICONS?
> By St. Nicolai Velimirovich

St. Nicolai, pray for us.

Very nice post, Orthodoc.
Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)

Offline JoeZollars

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,278
  • Pray for me an unworthy sinner
    • The Joe's Big Wide World
Re:Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2004, 11:56:54 AM »
indeed a very good post.

Joe Zollars
These posts no longer represent my beliefs and I in no way endorse their contents.

Offline Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 33,642
Re:Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2012, 03:15:24 PM »
indeed a very good post.

Agreed. (bump)

Offline Shiny

  • Site Supporter
  • Toumarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,267
  • Paint It Red
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 03:43:45 PM »
*prints*
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline Hinterlander

  • Site Supporter
  • High Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 668
  • Faith: Inquirer
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2016, 07:30:09 PM »
Very helpful, as is this link http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/beginning/candle.shtml

Anyone know of what they consider the best and most thorough treatment of the use of candles in Orthodox worship?  As an inquirer I've picked up on the sign of the cross and icons but I have not yet begun purchasing and lighting candles.  Is there a prayer people say while lighting them?

Offline Thomas

  • Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,958
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2016, 10:25:43 PM »
Prayers before the icons and when candles are lit are very individual and personal. Some talk directly to the person represented in the icon, For Christ and the Theotokos sometimes hymns are said as prayers and other times specific petitions are made. Sometimes the prayers are in thanksgiving and other times a petition or request for intercession.

Thomas
Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,911
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
    • Blog
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of the South
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2016, 10:28:02 PM »
I just burn them for light.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline scamandrius

  • Last of the Romans
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,425
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2016, 10:32:29 PM »
I just burn them for light.

Why don't you just put flashlights in front of your icons then?

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,911
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
    • Blog
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of the South
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2016, 10:37:57 PM »
I just burn them for light.

Why don't you just put flashlights in front of your icons then?

Nah, I have a smartphone for that.  Do you read the Akathist before you light a candle?
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline scamandrius

  • Last of the Romans
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,425
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2016, 10:44:25 PM »
I just burn them for light.

Why don't you just put flashlights in front of your icons then?

Nah, I have a smartphone for that.  Do you read the Akathist before you light a candle?

Of course. I pray it with the Uncreated Light.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2016, 10:44:36 PM by scamandrius »

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,911
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
    • Blog
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of the South
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2016, 10:46:47 PM »
I just burn them for light.

Why don't you just put flashlights in front of your icons then?

Nah, I have a smartphone for that.  Do you read the Akathist before you light a candle?

Of course. I pray it with the Uncreated Light.

Good. 
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Thomas

  • Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,958
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 06:24:51 PM »
I just burn them for light.

Why don't you just put flashlights in front of your icons then?

My Landlord does not allow true burning candles, we have to use battery operated votive candles where we would normally have an oil lampada, or burning candle in a votive glass. The battery lights are ok they flicker some and last about 240 hours or about a week before you have to replace the battery or the candle.

Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas

Offline yas

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 95
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2016, 08:09:35 PM »
I have seen both small, skinny candles and large votive candles that are in glass. What are the differences between the two?

Usually, in my church, the larger ones are brought to an icon of Christ or the Theotokos by the alter. The small ones are put in sand.

I am just curious about who can light them, when (can you do this at any time on any day), etc.

Offline WPM

  • Revolutionary Writer
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,543
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2016, 09:34:30 PM »
Something about the smallest candle light filling up the whole room.

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,911
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
    • Blog
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church of the South
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2016, 11:40:56 PM »
I have seen both small, skinny candles and large votive candles that are in glass. What are the differences between the two?

Usually, in my church, the larger ones are brought to an icon of Christ or the Theotokos by the alter. The small ones are put in sand.

I am just curious about who can light them, when (can you do this at any time on any day), etc.

If your parish sells them, anyone can buy to light them.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline JoeS2

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,603
  • St. Mark Defender of the true Faith (old CAF guy)
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2016, 12:04:09 AM »
Thanks Orthodoc, passing it along if OK

Offline JoeS2

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,603
  • St. Mark Defender of the true Faith (old CAF guy)
Re: Why Are Candles & Vigil Lights Lit?
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2016, 12:05:30 AM »
The Darkness shall never consume the LIGHT...