Author Topic: vigil light - kantili  (Read 3084 times)

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Offline Ersaia

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vigil light - kantili
« on: February 20, 2013, 04:15:51 PM »
I have a question about vigil light or kantili as we Greeks call it.

In Bible says that we must light it using olive oil.
Olive Oil it was a common oil in the area around Jerusalem, It's common in Greece also so we use olive oil in our homes.

But what happen in the areas where they don't have olive oil or it is very very very expensive because they import it from areas like Greece,Italy, Spain etc.

What do you use?
other oil?
candles?
something else?

what your priests told about this?

Offline mike

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 04:17:05 PM »
Colza oil.

Offline Romaios

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 04:17:56 PM »
Sunflower oil.

Offline arimethea

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 04:46:30 PM »
There are a variety of fuels used to light candles and such, but the vigil light on the altar table should always be Olive Oil. You can use the low grade stuff in the large cans, it actually burns better then the more expensive virgin types. I think you will find the discount olive oil to be more economical in the long run, since it seems to last longer then other fuel types.
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Offline Antonis

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 04:52:00 PM »
I use olive oil.
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Offline mike

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 04:52:57 PM »
There are a variety of fuels used to light candles and such, but the vigil light on the altar table should always be Olive Oil.

Never seen olive oil here.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 04:54:11 PM »

I wouldn't know for sure, as I've never been in the Altar, but, I have a feeling it's just plain wax.
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Offline Ersaia

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2013, 05:05:29 PM »

I wouldn't know for sure, as I've never been in the Altar, but, I have a feeling it's just plain wax.


I mean in your home not in church
for us, Greeks, it's olive oil always, but we have olive trees around and we produce olive oil so no further conversation about us.

but I have not idea what they use in other countries if they can't have olive oil
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 05:11:26 PM by Ersaia »

Offline elephant

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2013, 05:09:14 PM »
Our altar lamps use olive oil that is a offering, usually when there is a memorial service, or an artoclasia etc.  
I've suggested that the virgin oil that people bring is actually dirtier for burning, but no-one pays any attention.  

love, elephant

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2013, 05:22:04 PM »

I wouldn't know for sure, as I've never been in the Altar, but, I have a feeling it's just plain wax.


I mean in your home not in church
for us, Greeks, it's olive oil always, but we have olive trees around and we produce olive oil so no further conversation about us.

but I have not idea what they use in other countries if they can't have olive oil

Oh, at home, I just use wax.  I'm not experienced enough for the actual oil lamps.  :)

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2013, 05:40:04 PM »
There are a variety of fuels used to light candles and such, but the vigil light on the altar table should always be Olive Oil.

Never seen olive oil here.

Makes me think there is a Polish joke to be made  ;D
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Offline Monk Vasyl

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2013, 05:43:46 PM »
At St. Andrew's, in Boston, we use olive oil for the 7 branch candlestand behind the altar table and also for those on the altar table, too.
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Offline Ersaia

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2013, 05:55:45 PM »
At St. Andrew's, in Boston, we use olive oil for the 7 branch candlestand behind the altar table and also for those on the altar table, too.

and what people use in their homes?

Offline LBK

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2013, 05:58:53 PM »
elephant is right: EVOO is too thick and contains substances which clog wicks and create a lot of carbon. The lighter grades will give better results, but it depends on the brand and grade, trial and error might be required. Even in Greece, a specific grade of refined olive oil suitable for oil lamps, but not intended for cooking is available.

If olive oil is unavailable, any light oil, such as sunflower or canola is quite OK. What's far more important is not what sort of oil is used, but the fact that a lamp is burning.
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2013, 06:03:13 PM »

^ does wax count?  :D
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Offline WPM

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2013, 06:37:24 PM »
1 candle for each duration
« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 06:38:05 PM by WPM »

Offline IXOYE

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2013, 07:41:32 PM »
Olive oil.

Offline augustin717

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2013, 07:54:18 PM »
nothing. i never actually saw, in my region, even in the houses of priests, someone keep a lit lamp all the time. sometimes they light a candle though. actually I only saw a chain lamp once, in an actual house. and it wasn't really used.

Offline Romaios

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2013, 08:13:53 PM »
nothing. i never actually saw, in my region, even in the houses of priests, someone keep a lit lamp all the time. sometimes they light a candle though. actually I only saw a chain lamp once, in an actual house. and it wasn't really used.

Romania wholeheartedly (and recklessly) embraced electricity. In churches, it almost invariably and completely superseded oil lamps. The ugliest electric installations are used to illuminate even the iconostasis. "Conservative" villagers defy even bishops who specifically ask them to remove such kitschig paraphernalia (Christmas style colourful installations/fake electric kantilia) and place oil lamps at least in front of the Royal Icons of the Pantokrator and Theotokos.

Oil lamps are making a comeback, though. In churches as well as the homes of the faithful. Thank God!

Offline augustin717

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2013, 08:29:08 PM »
nothing. i never actually saw, in my region, even in the houses of priests, someone keep a lit lamp all the time. sometimes they light a candle though. actually I only saw a chain lamp once, in an actual house. and it wasn't really used.

Romania wholeheartedly (and recklessly) embraced electricity. In churches, it almost invariably and completely superseded oil lamps. The ugliest electric installations are used to illuminate even the iconostasis. "Conservative" villagers defy even bishops who specifically ask them to remove such kitschig paraphernalia (Christmas style colourful installations/fake electric kantilia) and place oil lamps at least in front of the Royal Icons of the Pantokrator and Theotokos.

Oil lamps are making a comeback, though. In churches as well as the homes of the faithful. Thank God!
I, for one, say more power to the people/villagers. Bishops need to be snubbed by their people.

Offline Romaios

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2013, 08:37:01 PM »
I, for one, say more power to the people/villagers. Bishops need to be snubbed by their people.

Would that be Orthodox or Red Raskolnik phronema?

Offline Ersaia

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2013, 08:49:35 PM »
hmmmmmm I feel the need to write for kantili :P

kantili can be as simple as a whisky glass like this



or something you buy like -> http://www.monastiriaka.gr/index.php?cPath=4_137&language=gr

or something like this

(I have a whisky glass but I want to buy one some day)

(in Greece) you put inside water and olive oil

and we use this to light it (sorry for my english)



this is our tradition, this is what we learn from our mothers and grandmothers etc.

the better is to have it always alight, day and night
If you can't you light it every day
if you can't you light it every saturday and sunday and in big orthodox holidays
if you can't you light in big orthodox holidays



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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2013, 08:50:50 PM »
My mother finds olive kernel oil the best for the vigil lamp. It's significantly cheaper than even blended olive oil, and burns cleaner and longer.

For my part, having the icon corner on a bookshelf and a toddler puttering about everywhere, I use tealight candles in a rock salt holder. It creates a lantern effect and is practically impossible to knock over.
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Offline Ersaia

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2013, 09:12:05 PM »
My mother finds olive kernel oil the best for the vigil lamp. It's significantly cheaper than even blended olive oil, and burns cleaner and longer.

my mother prefer the cheaper olive kernel oil too because of the price
I thought about this but I think it's better to offer a good olive oil if you can afford it
I am not sure they could have olive kernel oil at the times of old testament...




Offline LBK

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2013, 09:21:21 PM »
My mother finds olive kernel oil the best for the vigil lamp. It's significantly cheaper than even blended olive oil, and burns cleaner and longer.

my mother prefer the cheaper olive kernel oil too because of the price
I thought about this but I think it's better to offer a good olive oil if you can afford it
I am not sure they could have olive kernel oil at the times of old testament...


The Mediterranean and Middle East has been practically swimming in olive oil for thousands of years. Other edible oils have only become available there in the last few decades, at most.
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Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2013, 10:59:15 PM »
we have two lit almost 24hrs day and olive oil gets too expensive nowadays.
So we use whatever oil is on sale at the time.
We do (on occastion)use olive oil on big feast days.

I dont think its very important in home to use olive oil.

its the fact that you light a kandilli that counts, not the quality of the oil?

kinda like its the though that counts not the gift (price).

Offline Ersaia

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2013, 06:45:04 AM »
its the fact that you light a kandilli that counts, not the quality of the oil?

kinda like its the though that counts not the gift (price).

as I said for us olive oil is a tradition because we have olive oil
but if I could not have or afford olive oil I will offer another oil
because yes, I think the most important is to light a kandili

I just wonder what the priests around the world tell the people about this and what tell the people to do.
(electricity and electric kandilia or electric candles is not an option for me)

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2013, 10:14:40 AM »

^ does wax count?  :D

Interesting that the Greek word "kantilli" seems to be the derivation of "candle." So, as LBK observed: "What's far more important is not what sort of oil is used, but the fact that a lamp is burning."

Offline Ersaia

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2013, 10:49:54 AM »
Interesting that the Greek word "kantilli" seems to be the derivation of "candle."

1)kantili is middle ages greek word from latin word candela (candle) and it is the word we use, but...
2) the bible greek word is lyxnia and lyxnari

the word we use for candles is "keria" (or "lambada" for the big easter candle)

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2013, 05:26:41 PM »
... and just to confuse things further, kadila is the word in Slavic languages for the priest's censer, and lampada is the word for oil lamp:laugh:
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Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2013, 10:55:09 PM »
Interesting that the Greek word "kantilli" seems to be the derivation of "candle."

1)kantili is middle ages greek word from latin word candela (candle) and it is the word we use, but...
2) the bible greek word is lyxnia and lyxnari

the word we use for candles is "keria" (or "lambada" for the big easter candle)

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Offline Ersaia

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2013, 11:02:49 PM »
... and just to confuse things further, kadila is the word in Slavic languages for the priest's censer, and lampada is the word for oil lamp:laugh:

I was already confuse with the use of lampada word in other posts :P

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2013, 10:25:41 AM »
At home, I use olive oil as much as possible, but I don't keep my lampada lit all the time. Only during prayers.

I know several parishes and monasteries that use half olive oil and half canola oil. Sometimes, even just canola oil. I've heard of people using vegetable oil, but I'd think that would smell like a stir fry...I wouldn't recommend it. Canola burns well and clean (it's lighter than olive oil) with no distinctive odor. So, yes, no stir fry smell...but you also lack the distinctive aroma of olive oil, which I think is unfortunate. However, you use what you can, right?

Electricity got a good jump on Orthodoxy here in the States, too. I've been to numerous Greek parishes that have electric candles and lampadas. I heard a story from a priest once about a parish he used to be assigned to, where they had a very cheesy cross atop the iconostas that lit up like a neon sign. It was awful, especially as it got partially burned out and no one would replace it. The rector there plotted forever to get rid of it. One day he was doing some work in the church, I think carpentry or something, and "accidentally" cut the power cord for the cross in two. That was nearly 20 years ago and no one has bothered to repair it!
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Offline Ersaia

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2013, 11:22:38 AM »
I just remember to post here :P

I watch a video in youtube for a famous orthodox monastery in Prigipos (Turkey) where many muslims go every yeat at St.George day

This monastery open again the last years with some monks from Athos. The monks where from my city.
In this video they use vegetable oil with a sunflower in the bottle and no olive oil. Muslims when they go there they bring sunflower oil to monastery and the monks use it.

I don't unsterstand why they don't ask olive oil, Turkey has olive trees, but for me it was important to see monks from Athos (and born in my city) using sunflower oil because this is what they have there.

If they can do it I can do it also if I can't have enough money for olive oil

Offline JR

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2013, 09:46:48 AM »
My 2 most local churches here in Athens uses far to many electric candles near the iconstasi, I think it is quite ugly.

But my spiritual father tells me to use olive oil and water and burn it as often as possible.

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Offline DuxI

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2013, 06:35:46 PM »
We use sunflower oil for the kandilo (that is how it is called in Macedonian). My grandmother, which is nearly 80, from what i know, always uses sunflower oil.
In my room, i have electric kandilo, with an icon, a gift from my relatives from Greece. It is similar to this, just the icon is little different and larger:



And it has the same inscription (which i do not know what it means)

Somewhere i read that it is not appropriate to have electric kandilo for Orthodox worship, but i can not remember where...
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 06:37:40 PM by DuxI »

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2013, 06:55:49 PM »
And it has the same inscription (which i do not know what it means)

It means 'keep me under your protection' :)
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Offline DuxI

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Re: vigil light - kantili
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2013, 07:00:25 PM »
And it has the same inscription (which i do not know what it means)

It means 'keep me under your protection' :)

Thank you very much for the answer! :)