Author Topic: Six candles on the Altar  (Read 4237 times)

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Offline Vanessa

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Six candles on the Altar
« on: April 04, 2014, 05:36:23 PM »
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  • What do they represent and signify? Why are there 6?

    Offline Charlemagne

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 05:55:16 PM »
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  • Quote from: Vanessa
    What do they represent and signify? Why are there 6?


    From what I’ve heard (long ago), they represent the menorah, with Christ (the Crucifix) as the center light.
    "Kindness is for fools! They [modernists] want to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses, but they ought to be beaten with fists. In a duel, you don't count or measure the blows, you strike as you can. War is not made with charity. It is a struggle, a duel." -- Pope St. Pius X


    Offline PerEvangelicaDicta

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 06:26:33 PM »
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  • Excerpts from Daily Catholic
    http://www.dailycatholic.org/cms46.htm

    Quote
    n Rome, during the great persecutions, Mass was celebrated on the tombs of martyrs in the catacombs beneath the city, where the Christians fled for safety. The catacombs were underground galleries, of which it is said Rome had about 400 miles.

        This is the origin of the rule of having Mass said over relics of saints. At the beginning of the Mass the priest kisses the altar. By this, too, we, the Church Militant profess our communion with the saints in Heaven - the Church Triumphant. Often times on permanent altars, relics are kept in reliquaries on the altar flanking the candle holders.

        The lights which today we burn on the altar during Mass also had their origin during the times of persecution, when the Christians had to hear Mass in dark passages underground. They may be taken to symbolize divine grace.



    Quote
    Of the candles on the altar, two must be of pure wax. At a high Mass, at least six candles must be used. A sanctuary lamp of oil is kept burning day and night whenever the Blessed Sacrament is in the Tabernacle. For a Requiem Mass the white candles are replaced by waxed candles of a rose/lavender or grayish hue. This includes the floor candles around the bier at a Burial Mass.

    Offline Dolores

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #3 on: April 05, 2014, 11:00:51 AM »
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  • Quote from: Charlemagne
    Quote from: Vanessa
    What do they represent and signify? Why are there 6?


    From what I’ve heard (long ago), they represent the menorah, with Christ (the Crucifix) as the center light.


    During a Pontifical High Mass, there are actually seven candles.  During a Low Mass, only two candles are lit, and during a Pontifical Low Mass, four candles are lit.

    Offline Charlemagne

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #4 on: April 05, 2014, 11:39:09 AM »
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  • Quote from: Dolores
    Quote from: Charlemagne
    Quote from: Vanessa
    What do they represent and signify? Why are there 6?


    From what I’ve heard (long ago), they represent the menorah, with Christ (the Crucifix) as the center light.


    During a Pontifical High Mass, there are actually seven candles.  During a Low Mass, only two candles are lit, and during a Pontifical Low Mass, four candles are lit.


    I wish I could remember where I read what I stated earlier. I think I remember reading that the Crucifix, as the center and highest "candle" (highest because it represents the Cross on Calvary and because Christ is the Light of the World) was to indicate that the Temple-placed menorah (which had seven lampstands and represented the old form of worship accepted by God) had been replaced by Christ's sacrifice (Holy Mass, the new form of worship and the only one now accepted by God). It makes sense, but I don't know if it's accurate.
    "Kindness is for fools! They [modernists] want to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses, but they ought to be beaten with fists. In a duel, you don't count or measure the blows, you strike as you can. War is not made with charity. It is a struggle, a duel." -- Pope St. Pius X


    Offline Dolores

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 10:50:55 AM »
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  • There are apparently many more regulations regarding the number of candles to be used during different liturgical functions than I previously thought:

    Quote from: [i
    Catholic Encyclopedia[/i], "Altar Candles"]Number of candles at mass

    (1) At a pontifical high Mass, celebrated by the ordinary, seven candles are lighted. The seventh candle should be somewhat higher than the others, and should be placed at the middle of the altar in line with the other six. For this reason the altar crucifix is moved forward a little. In Requiem Masses, and at other liturgical services. e.g. Vespers, the seventh candle is not used. If the bishop celebrate outside his diocese. or if he be the administrator, auxiliary, or coadjutor, the seventh candle is not lighted.

    (2) At a solemn high Mass, i.e. when the celebrant is assisted by a deacon and subdeacon, six candles are lighted. This is not expressly prescribed by the rubrics, but merely deduced from the rubric describing the manner of incensing the altar (Ritus celebrandi Missam, tit. iv, n. 4), which says that the celebrant incenses both sides of the altar with three swings of the censer prout distribuuntur candelabra.

    (3) At a high Mass (missa cantata), which is celebrated without the assistance of deacon and subdeacon, at least four candles are required (Cong. Sac. Rit., 12 August, 1854), although six may be lighted. At these Masses under (l), (2), (3), the two lighted candles prescribed by the Missal (Rubr. XX) to be placed one on each side of the cross, are not necessary (Cong. Sac. Rit., 5 December, 1891).

    (4) At low Mass celebrated by any bishop, four candles are usually lighted, although the "Caeremoniale Episcoporum" (I, cap. xxix, n. 4) prescribes this number only for the more solemn feasts, and two on feasts of lower rite.

    (5) At a strictly low Mass celebrated by any priest inferior to a bishop, whatever be his dignity, only two candles may be used.

    (6) In a not strictly low Mass, i.e. in a parochial or community Mass on more solemn feasts or the Mass which is said instead of a solemn or high Mass on the occasion of a great solemnity (Cong. Sac. Rit., 12 September, 1857), when celebrated by a priest more than two candles, and when celebrated by a bishop more than four candles may be used.

    At all functions throughout the year except on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, before the Mass bishops are allowed the use of the bugia or hand-candlestick. The use of the bugia is not permitted to priests, whatever be their dignity, unless it be granted by an Apostolic privilege either personal, or by reason of their being curial dignitaries. If, on account of darkness a priest stands in need of a light near the Missal he may use a candle, but the candlestick on which it is fastened cannot have the form of the bugia (Cong. Sac. Rit., 31 May, 1817). An oil lamp can never be used for this purpose (Cong. Sac. Rit., 20 June, 1899). At the Forty Hours Devotion at least twenty candles should burn continuously (Instructio Clementina, section 6); at other public expositions of the Blessed Sacrament at least five (Cong. Sac. Rit., 8 February, 1879); at the private exposition, at least six (Cong. Episc. et Reg., 9 December, 1602). The only blessings at which lighted candles are prescribed are:

        of the candles on the feast of the Purification
        of the ashes on Ash Wednesday;
        of the palms on Palm Sunday.


    There must be some reason, whether symbolic or otherwise, for the number of candles, but the above article doesn't mention any.

    Offline Olive

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 11:00:45 AM »
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  • I found this:


    “Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who hast sanctified us by the commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the festival lights.”

    How many candles did they light?  After sundown each Friday of Sabbath eve, and on the Passover they lighted six lamps or candles.  To each lamp or candle they held out the hands and prayed for the repose of the souls of the dead.  The Jews of that day piously believed that while the candles of Sabbath and feast burned, God allowed the souls in purgatory to cool themselves in cold water, remaining there while the candles burned.  We conclude therefore that six wax candles burned at the Last Supper, and these are continued in the six candles of Pontifical and High Mass.

    -   page 345, How Christ Said The First Mass, Fr. James Meagher, D.D.


    On the cross table before the reclining Lord and his “band” of apostles burned the six Passover beeswax candles, with different dishes we have described.

    -   page 382, ibid.

    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #7 on: April 13, 2014, 04:11:41 AM »
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  • .

    During Holy Week, a candle triangle is traditionally used during Matins and Lauds and Holy Mass.

    From the Maundy Thursday liturgy in the Liber Usualis:

    At the end of each Psalm of Matins and of Lauds, one of the 15 candles is extinguished on the triangular candlestick before the altar, the candle at the top being left lighted.  


    (Then follows many pages of chants for Matins and Lauds..  After Traditor autem dedit eis signum... the following is provided..)

    Fourteen of the candles on the triangular candlestick having been extinguished as has already been explained, the one at the top of the triangle alone remains lighted.  During the Canticle Benedictus, the six candles on the altar are likewise extinguished one by one, from each side alternately, at every second verse, so that by the last verse all are extinguished.  All other lights and lamps in the church are also put out.  During the repetition of the Antiphon Taditor, the lighted candle is taken from the top of the candlestick and hidden behind the altar at the Epistle side.




    There is no other time in the Liturgical year where there is so many differences in the daily and weekly norm of what happens at Mass, as during the Triduum of Holy Week.  This USED to be from Maundy Thursday morning to Easter Sunday morning, but one of the changes that came with Bugnini was to move that to Thursday EVENING and extend it to Sunday EVENING.  Why?  No reason was ever given, like the other numerous changes:  no good reason was ever given -- it was change for the sake of change, ostensibly because change is good.

    Keep in mind, that the wreckovation foisted upon the Church in the name of the (unclean) "spirit of Vatican II" began with tampering with Holy Week, and it happened under the watch of Pope Pius XII.  He appointed the Freemason Anibale Bugnini to his position of power in the newly established office of Liturgical Reform, as its Secretary.  One change after another came down the pike, and after about 1954, change became the norm.  Nobody knew what wild innovation was going to be demanded of them from one day to the next.  Everything was in 'FLUX' as the ancient philosophers would say.  

    It is a spirit of worldliness that demands updating, new models, renovation, remodeling, renewal, reform and change.  To "keep up with the Joneses" you have to have the latest model of car and the newest style of clothing.  So Newchurch is trying harder to keep up with the Lutherans and the Pres-byterians than it is trying to hang on to Sacred Tradition.  

    It's out with the old and in with the new.  So don't be surprised if you find that it's hard to learn what candles are for.  We use electric candles now, don'tcha know?  You put a quarter in the slot and push a button and the flickering electric imitation flame lights up, and your insurance premiums go down.

    You're making money!  Must be doing SOMETHING right!  


    .
    .--. .-.-.- ... .-.-.- ..-. --- .-. - .... . -.- .. -. --. -.. --- -- --..-- - .... . .--. --- .-- . .-. .- -. -.. -....- -....- .--- ..- ... - -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.


    Offline PerEvangelicaDicta

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #8 on: April 13, 2014, 04:31:14 AM »
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  • Quote from: Dolores
    There are apparently many more regulations regarding the number of candles to be used during different liturgical functions than I previously thought:

    Quote from: [i
    Catholic Encyclopedia[/i], "Altar Candles"]Number of candles at mass

    (1) At a pontifical high Mass, celebrated by the ordinary, seven candles are lighted. The seventh candle should be somewhat higher than the others, and should be placed at the middle of the altar in line with the other six. For this reason the altar crucifix is moved forward a little. In Requiem Masses, and at other liturgical services. e.g. Vespers, the seventh candle is not used. If the bishop celebrate outside his diocese. or if he be the administrator, auxiliary, or coadjutor, the seventh candle is not lighted.

    (2) At a solemn high Mass, i.e. when the celebrant is assisted by a deacon and subdeacon, six candles are lighted. This is not expressly prescribed by the rubrics, but merely deduced from the rubric describing the manner of incensing the altar (Ritus celebrandi Missam, tit. iv, n. 4), which says that the celebrant incenses both sides of the altar with three swings of the censer prout distribuuntur candelabra.

    (3) At a high Mass (missa cantata), which is celebrated without the assistance of deacon and subdeacon, at least four candles are required (Cong. Sac. Rit., 12 August, 1854), although six may be lighted. At these Masses under (l), (2), (3), the two lighted candles prescribed by the Missal (Rubr. XX) to be placed one on each side of the cross, are not necessary (Cong. Sac. Rit., 5 December, 1891).

    (4) At low Mass celebrated by any bishop, four candles are usually lighted, although the "Caeremoniale Episcoporum" (I, cap. xxix, n. 4) prescribes this number only for the more solemn feasts, and two on feasts of lower rite.

    (5) At a strictly low Mass celebrated by any priest inferior to a bishop, whatever be his dignity, only two candles may be used.

    (6) In a not strictly low Mass, i.e. in a parochial or community Mass on more solemn feasts or the Mass which is said instead of a solemn or high Mass on the occasion of a great solemnity (Cong. Sac. Rit., 12 September, 1857), when celebrated by a priest more than two candles, and when celebrated by a bishop more than four candles may be used.

    At all functions throughout the year except on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, before the Mass bishops are allowed the use of the bugia or hand-candlestick. The use of the bugia is not permitted to priests, whatever be their dignity, unless it be granted by an Apostolic privilege either personal, or by reason of their being curial dignitaries. If, on account of darkness a priest stands in need of a light near the Missal he may use a candle, but the candlestick on which it is fastened cannot have the form of the bugia (Cong. Sac. Rit., 31 May, 1817). An oil lamp can never be used for this purpose (Cong. Sac. Rit., 20 June, 1899). At the Forty Hours Devotion at least twenty candles should burn continuously (Instructio Clementina, section 6); at other public expositions of the Blessed Sacrament at least five (Cong. Sac. Rit., 8 February, 1879); at the private exposition, at least six (Cong. Episc. et Reg., 9 December, 1602). The only blessings at which lighted candles are prescribed are:

        of the candles on the feast of the Purification
        of the ashes on Ash Wednesday;
        of the palms on Palm Sunday.


    There must be some reason, whether symbolic or otherwise, for the number of candles, but the above article doesn't mention any.


    I found this link today.  I think you will enjoy exploring:
    https://archive.org/details/ceremoniesofrom00fort


    Offline Neil Obstat

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #9 on: April 13, 2014, 04:33:24 AM »
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  • Quote from: Charlemagne
    Quote from: Dolores
    Quote from: Charlemagne
    Quote from: Vanessa
    What do they represent and signify? Why are there 6?


    From what I’ve heard (long ago), they represent the menorah, with Christ (the Crucifix) as the center light.


    During a Pontifical High Mass, there are actually seven candles.  During a Low Mass, only two candles are lit, and during a Pontifical Low Mass, four candles are lit.


    I wish I could remember where I read what I stated earlier. I think I remember reading that the Crucifix, as the center and highest "candle" (highest because it represents the Cross on Calvary and because Christ is the Light of the World) was to indicate that the Temple-placed menorah (which had seven lampstands and represented the old form of worship accepted by God) had been replaced by Christ's sacrifice (Holy Mass, the new form of worship and the only one now accepted by God). It makes sense, but I don't know if it's accurate.



    There are a lot of styles of menorahs these days.  Have you ever seen a sampling of them?  Most of them have 8 arms plus one center, making 9 candles.

    I have a favorite.  

    Would you like to know what it is?  




    It's not this one:

    (It's called .Mikdash 37)


    And it's not this one:

    (They call this "Wheeling Groovy" the only VW van made in Israel -- you can buy
    23 of these, or one .Mikdash 37)

    I have a joke about the van but I'm not going to share it.  


    .
    .--. .-.-.- ... .-.-.- ..-. --- .-. - .... . -.- .. -. --. -.. --- -- --..-- - .... . .--. --- .-- . .-. .- -. -.. -....- -....- .--- ..- ... - -.- .. -.. -.. .. -. --. .-.-.

    Offline Charlemagne

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    Six candles on the Altar
    « Reply #10 on: April 13, 2014, 10:56:27 AM »
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  • I was talking about the menorah used in the temple, which had seven. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menorah_(Temple)

    The VW menorah is rather groovy, though! :laugh1:
    "Kindness is for fools! They [modernists] want to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses, but they ought to be beaten with fists. In a duel, you don't count or measure the blows, you strike as you can. War is not made with charity. It is a struggle, a duel." -- Pope St. Pius X


     

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