If you’ve ever visited a church or attended a religious ceremony, you may have noticed small candles flickering in the background. These are votive candles, which have a long history of being used in spiritual and religious practices.
In this article, we’ll explore what a votive candle is, its origins, and its uses.
Origins of the Votive Candle
The use of votive candles dates back to ancient times when people would light candles to pay homage to their gods and goddesses.
The Romans used to light candles in their temples to honor their deities, while the Greeks would light candles to accompany their prayers. Over time, votive candles became a staple in many religions and spiritual practices around the world.
What is a Votive Candle?
A votive candle is a small, usually cylindrical, candle that is placed in a candle holder. These candles are typically made of wax, although they can also be made of other materials such as soy or beeswax.
Votive candles are meant to burn for a short period of time, usually a few hours, and are often used in religious or spiritual practices as a symbol of devotion, prayer, or remembrance.
Read: Types of votive candles
Uses of Votive Candles
Votive candles are used for a variety of purposes, ranging from religious ceremonies to home decor. Here are some common uses of votive candles:
In many religions, votive candles are used to honor deities or saints, to pray for healing or guidance, or to commemorate a special event or occasion. They can also be used as part of a personal ritual or meditation practice.
Votive candles are often used in home decor to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. They can be placed in decorative holders or arranged in groups to create a beautiful centerpiece.
Many people also use scented votive candles to add fragrance to their homes.
Votive candles can also be used to commemorate special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, or anniversaries. They can be personalized with names or messages and given as gifts to friends and family.
Here is a video on how to use votive candles
Choosing a Votive Candle
When choosing a votive candle, there are several factors to consider. These include:
Size and Shape
Votive candles come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some are small and cylindrical, while others may be larger or have a different shape. It’s important to choose a candle that will fit your candle holder and the space where it will be used.
Votive candles can be made of wax, soy, beeswax, or other materials. Each type of material has its own unique qualities and burning characteristics, so it’s important to choose a candle that fits your needs.
Some votive candles are unscented, while others have a fragrance added to them. If you plan to use your votive candle for meditation or spiritual practices, you may want to choose an unscented candle.
If you’re using your votive candle for home decor, you may prefer a scented candle that adds fragrance to your space.
Votive candles have a long history of use in spiritual and religious practices, as well as in home decor and special occasions.
Whether you’re using them to honor a deity, create a warm and inviting atmosphere, or commemorate a special event, votive candles can add a touch of beauty and meaning to your life.
What does votive mean in relation to candles?
In relation to candles, votive refers to a small, usually cylindrical, candle that is placed in a candle holder. These candles are often used in religious or spiritual practices as a symbol of devotion, prayer, or remembrance.
Can votive candles be scented?
Yes, votive candles can be scented. Some votive candles have a fragrance added to them, while others are unscented. It’s important to choose a candle that fits your needs and preferences.
How long do votive candles burn for?
Votive candles typically burn for a few hours, depending on their size and the material they are made of. It’s important to follow the instructions on the candle to ensure safe and proper burning.
What are some common materials used to make votive candles?
Can votive candles be personalized?
Yes, votive candles can be personalized with names, messages, or designs. This makes them a great option for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, or anniversaries.
Are votive candles safe to burn indoors?
Yes, votive candles are safe to burn indoors as long as you follow the instructions on the candle and practice proper fire safety precautions.
Can votive candles be used for meditation or prayer?
Yes, votive candles are often used for meditation or prayer in various spiritual and religious practices.
How do I properly extinguish a votive candle?
To properly extinguish a votive candle, use a candle snuffer or gently blow out the flame. Avoid using water to put out the flame, as this can cause hot wax to splatter.
Can votive candles be reused?
It’s generally not recommended to reuse votive candles once they have burned down, as the container may become too hot and pose a fire risk.
Can votive candles be used outdoors?
Votive candles can be used outdoors, but it’s important to keep them away from flammable materials and to avoid using them in windy conditions.