Clerical Articles

Why do we light candles before the holy icons?

  • July 3, 2016

When you pray, the triune God watches you with eyes brighter and shinier than the sun!

Why do I offer material light (candles, lamps) to God or to the Mother of God or to an angel or saint? Saint John of Kronstadt wrote:”I offer material light (candles, lamps) to God, to the Mother of God, to an angel or saint so that they would give me with their prayers the light of the divine grace, the spiritual light, so that they would guide me far from the darkness of sin, in the light of the knowledge of God and virtues. I offer material light so that they would light in my heart the fire of the grace of the Holy Spirit and quench from my wretched heart the fire of passions.”

I offer light with the desire to become light myself, so as to warm and lighten all those who are in the church. This is why I light candles in front of the holy icons. These are my thoughts when I light candles and put them in the candlestick.

I confess that I put candles in front of the icons with the hope that I would receive the spiritual blessing from the saints painted on them. I confess my wish for a spiritual benefit. There is the law of reward, that of waiting gift for gift. ”With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you”1, the Lord said.

Likewise when you pray alone and your loneliness grieves you and disheartens you, you should know that the triune God watches you with eyes brighter and shinier than the sun! And your guardian angel, all the angels and saints of God do the same. You should firmly believe this. For they are all united with God. Where is God, they are with Him. Where is the sun, there are the rays.”

1 Matthew 7,2