Dear Parish Family:
Our sanctuary (altar area) renovations are now complete with the arrival of the memorial candles beneath the statues of our Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph. Lighting a candle in memory of a loved one or for a special intention has long been part of our Catholic prayer tradition. Jesus tells us, “You are the light of the world, you must not hide your light under a bushel basket but set it on a lamp stand for all the world to see!” (Matthew 5:14-16)
The candle stands are placed in the sanctuary to encourage everyone to come into the sanctuary to pray before or after Mass; and throughout the day to make a visit. The kneelers at the tabernacle are there to encourage us to spend time with Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament. We intentionally made the sanctuary handicap accessible so that everyone would be able to come forward for prayer.
Due to insurance policies, all unattended wax candles were eliminated from our churches as fire hazards. Our new memorial candles are electronic, therefore safe for use in our church. There is a red button in front of each candle that can be pushed to light a candle in memory of a loved one, or for a special intention for which you are seeking wisdom and light. These candles “burn” for 12 hours; the suggested donation is $1.00 that can be placed in the slot in the center of each stand.
I am sharing this information with you because several people have asked, “Is it alright for us to go over to light a candle, or do we ask someone to do it for us?” “Is it safe to have these candles in the church with no one around?” “How long do these candles stay lit?” My feeling is, if one or two have these questions others have them too.
My hope is that whether or not you light a candle, I would love to see more people come into the sanctuary to pray around the tabernacle. Take the time to be present to the Lord in prayer!