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Silouan
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« on: September 21, 2005, 10:49:26 PM »

Now this more para-liturgical than truly liturgical, but I think this is still the right forum...

Does anyone use anything other than olive oil to keep their home oil lamps (Lampada, kandili - or whatever you prefer) burning?  I.e Ollive oil isn't cheap and am curious if other types of oils - corn, canola, vegtable etc. burn as well and as cleanly?  Or are there other options as well?

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Timos
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2005, 11:27:52 PM »

Hey Silouan. There's always kerosene but you gotta be extremely careful and you can't use it in the same way with olive oil. If you use kerosene, the malp must be specifically designed for it and not a traditional lampada....But i wouldn't recoomend it because its very dangerous, smelly, and sooty.

I used to use vegetable, canola oil or corn oil which didn't work as well. If you want to use oil then I've only heard of these three being used.

What you can do also is put those little tea lite candles inside the lampada and whenever it burns itself out put another one. They usually come 50 in a pack for about a buck. Thats the safest because its parrafin and it's already inside a small metal encasing.
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2005, 01:02:23 AM »

Silouan,

We tend to use whatever oil is available at my house.  Right now, there is an abundance of olive oil, so we use that.  When there is not, we use vegetable oil, rather than leave the oil lamp unlit.  I'm not sure if it's "wrong" to use a different kind of oil...I would suggest it isn't, but then again, what do I know?!  I think the more important issue is not the kind of oil, but the actual act--a small sacrifice of light to God, and I'm sure if it comes from a well meaning heart, whether olive or vegetable, I don't think the kind of oil is an issue.  But don't quote me on it, others who know more than me, feel free to correct. 

The least in Christ Jesus, our Lord,
Theodore (Ted)

P.S.  My mom taught us that when we change the wick from the lampada (kantili), we are to take the old wicks, and any oil that has come from the oil lamp on a paper and burn it, but not throw it away.  We are Greek, and this is what my mother was taught by her mother, and she from her mother.  I'm just wondering, is there a similar tradition with Russians and Serbians, and the other Orthodox brothers and sisters on this forum? 
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Michael
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2005, 04:05:39 AM »

Hey Silouan. There's always kerosene but you gotta be extremely careful and you can't use it in the same way with olive oil. If you use kerosene, the malp must be specifically designed for it and not a traditional lampada....But i wouldn't recoomend it because its very dangerous, smelly, and sooty.

Sounds awful!  I think I'd avoid it as well (which should be easy as I've never heard of it) Grin

Olive oil isn't that expensive in these parts as it's used so frequently for skincare and in cooking, the latter especially since home cookery programmes took off over here a couple of years ago on a much larger scale than they did previously.

Are you getting it from an ecclesiastical supplier, Silouan?  If so, a corner shop or supermarket may be a less expensive option.

I hope you find a solution that works for you.
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2005, 04:17:08 AM »

Olive trees and olive oil do seem to play an important role in our faith, just look at the many scriptural references to olives, but I don't know if there are any canons regarding the oil to be used. Olive oil simply was abundant around the mediterrainian so it was used. Just remember that in a short while you will be able to buy extra virgin olive oil for less than you currently pay for the lesser quality stuff. We've got it coming out of our ears in Greece!

John.
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Silouan
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2005, 06:22:48 AM »

I was always under the impression that olive oil was the preffered oil - but I got to thinking that it might be better to actually have my candle lit burning the cheap stuff than almost never lit with olive oil.  And alas in the past week things sort of came apart with school - so it appears I will be stuck in AZ for awhile.  Someday though I will make it back.
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2005, 06:03:21 PM »

This thread brings up a question I've wondered about, for Mor or any of the other Indian folks on here. In Indian Orthodox churches, are oil lamps used? If they are, do y'all use olive oil, or ghee, which is the traditional fuel for lamps in India?
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2005, 06:50:06 PM »

Silouan,

It is traditional to use olive oil in the lampadas, probably because of what prodromos mentioned, that it was in abundant supply at the time.  However you may use pomice (or pomace or pumice) oil  (my spelling is atrocious, should learn to use the spell check). It is a form of olive oil only it is bottom-of the -line quality.  Some Churches use it because it is cheaper, they burn gallons of it. IMHO I wouldn't use it in cooking though.  As for the Russian way to dispose of the wicks.....well, we save them up and give them a proper burial. I can only guess the reason we save them up instead of burying one at a time  is that that in Russia they used to have to wait until the ground thaws. If it ever does. 

Don't use corn oil though, leaves too much sticky residue on the glass and on the walls. yuk.  I've used the little tea lights for a while for convenience, but it wasn't quite the same. Like I was cheating or something so I switched back. Although come to think about it, using bottom of the line olive oil for prayer kinda seems< I don't know> not good emough.(?) But if you are strapped for cash it is beter than nothing. I suppose.


In Christ

Deb

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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2005, 11:19:19 PM »

This thread brings up a question I've wondered about, for Mor or any of the other Indian folks on here. In Indian Orthodox churches, are oil lamps used? If they are, do y'all use olive oil, or ghee, which is the traditional fuel for lamps in India?

I am unaware of any churches which use ghee for our oil lamps (we have them, but they don't look like the Greek/Russian style hanging lamps, they look like traditional Indian lamps).  A pious practice of our people is to anoint oneself with the oil from the lamp after the Liturgy is over--I don't think this would go over well with ghee.  If olive oil is not used, however, I could possibly see some other vegetable oil being used, but I'm pretty sure it's olive oil all around, at least nowadays. 
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Michael
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2005, 03:52:56 AM »

Pardon my cultural ignorance (mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa), but people have mentioned kerosene and ghee here, and I don't know what either of them is. Embarrassed
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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2005, 07:52:03 AM »

Kerosene is lamp oil (as for your hurricane lamp); ghee is clarified butter.
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Michael
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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2005, 08:05:02 AM »

Thank you, Keble.

Hurricane lamps aren't that common over here, but I spent 8 years over in the Caribbean and we always used paraffin in ours.  Thanks for the information about ghee, as well.  It sounds rather clean and natural, and I'm sure it could be an acceptable substitute should olive oil be difficult to come by.
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2005, 05:32:10 AM »

Another traditional reason for the use of Olive Oil is the prescribed use in front of the Tabernacle from the OT:

Quote
Exodus 27: 20-21
20 "And you shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may be set up to burn continually. 21 In the tent of meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the LORD. It shall be a statute for ever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel.

I know the home lamp is not the same, but I think the use in the Church did influence the use in the home (and/or vice-versa).
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2005, 04:17:36 PM »

In India, orthodox churches do have a large india lamp, the oil is coconut oil which is abundant in kerala. People bring offerings of oil.

Mike , Ghee is clarified butter, kerosene is technically called SKO, i dont know what is called in the states, kerosene is the brit usage.
bye
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2005, 11:10:27 PM »

Oh what is the American form of kerosene. My being a Canadian...I thought kerosene was known in the States too...its the extremely flammable stuff used in pioneer times which has a really strong gas type smell and which creates a ton of soot.

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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2005, 01:33:29 AM »

Oh what is the American form of kerosene. My being a Canadian...I thought kerosene was known in the States too...its the extremely flammable stuff used in pioneer times which has a really strong gas type smell and which creates a ton of soot.

Same in Australia. I think what they are referring to in the US is what we would call "Gas Oil" or "Deisel Distillate" which has 16 Carbons and is used to make Heating Oil.
In Australia "Kerosine" refers to an octane (8 carbon) explosive fuel used in Jet engines....I wouldn't use it in vigil lamps!
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2005, 01:37:26 PM »

I think American kerosene is paraffin or distillate elsewhere. American paraffin is wax; we don't use the word "distillate" anymore, but back in the thirties when it was used, it referred to a sort of low octane gasoline-- not as heavy as diesel.
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« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2005, 02:42:06 PM »

ozgeorge,
We use the word 'kerosene' here as well for jet fuel; but I'm sure its grade is far different than what goes in the space heater  Smiley

We'll put Keble on it for research...
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« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2005, 04:29:15 PM »

Oh what is the American form of kerosene. My being a Canadian...I thought kerosene was known in the States too...its the extremely flammable stuff used in pioneer times which has a really strong gas type smell and which creates a ton of soot.



That's the kerosene I remember.  We used to use them in the lamps we'd pull out during power failures.  As for "prayer lamps" at home, I figure it's the light itself, not the fuel, that matters.  I use odorless liquid paraffin.
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2005, 01:05:37 PM »

I've heard that petroleum based oils leave soot and some can be a fire danger (whereas olive oil doesn't ignite if you spill it). Not sure if this is entirely true, anyone know?

Anyways, I prefer olive oil, for the sake of tradition.
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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2005, 04:16:19 PM »

Both Kerosene and Fuel Oil are used in the US. 
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« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2005, 05:07:01 PM »

You can buy lamp oil, which is a specially refined form of kerosene that is rendered relatively smoke and soot free and odorless. It is more expensive than ordinary kerosene, but much cheaper than olive oil; large bottles of it can be bought at Walmart or candleshops for just a few dollars.

If you wish to use oil, I have had good results with canola. It seems to burn brighter and cleaner than olive oil. Others here have apparently had poor results with it, but that might be due to the wicks they used. I used a clean, new cotton wick in the canola oil lamp and it worked very well for a long time.

Michael
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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2005, 05:38:48 PM »

It is more expensive than ordinary kerosene, but much cheaper than olive oil

Do you have an exact price per ounce? I know my light olive oil costs between 25 and 40 cents/ounce. Also, does the lamp oil burn faster or slower than olive oil?
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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2005, 06:01:03 PM »

A quick search of Lehman's shows that they are selling Aladdin lamp oil (presumably works in other lamps not containing genies) for $4.95 for a 32-ounce bottle. That works out to about 15 cents per ounce if my shaky math is right. Walmart may be cheaper still, but I can't remember.

I have not tested which of the two burns longer, but in casual observation I would say that lamp oil burns just as long as olive oil. We now use it in all of our lamps at church, mostly because it is cleaner and burns brighter. Bear in mind that YMMV, due to differences in wicks and flame heights.

Michael
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« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2005, 06:10:34 PM »

One reason you would use olive oil is because it burns at a slower rate than other oils (FYI: I'm a science teacher).  At home, our Kandili burns using vegetable oil mixed with olive oil.  Works well for us.
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« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2005, 06:14:55 PM »

One reason you would use olive oil is because it burns at a slower rate than other oils (FYI: I'm a science teacher).ÂÂ  At home, our Kandili burns using vegetable oil mixed with olive oil.ÂÂ  Works well for us.

Neat, I like science (though I haven't studied the properties of olive oil  Grin)

Which burns slower, extra virgin or a lighter olive oil? Which burns cleaner? Etc
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« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2005, 10:00:41 PM »

I've heard the old timers call it "coal oil: pronounced coal earl.ÂÂ  Kersone is a petroleum product in the USA.ÂÂ  It is used in heaters. It is added to diesel in colder weather to keep diesel from becoming gel.. so I have been told.ÂÂ  I wouldn't burn kerosone (you get it from a gas pump, well, it has it's own pump) in a lamp.ÂÂ  There must be something more akin to "coal earl" for this.ÂÂ  
Olive oil is a tad expensive in the states.ÂÂ  1.75 litres of extra virgin olive oil costs anywhere from 10-12 dollars or more depending on brand.ÂÂ  You could always buy olive oil that doesn't have the words virgin or extra virgin on the label as it will be cheaper.
I found a site that sells oil lamps like the ancient romans used.. they're aroune 10.00 usa a piece.
http://www.victorie-inc.us/oil_lamps.htm
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« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2005, 02:42:13 PM »

Neat, I like science (though I haven't studied the properties of olive oil  Grin)

Which burns slower, extra virgin or a lighter olive oil? Which burns cleaner? Etc

Both burn relatively cleanly. However, if length is what we're after, I would stay with a plain regular olive oil.  Due it's viscosity, it should burn slower.
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