Candle Lighting Change

Over the last couple of months, we’ve been making an awkward transition in how the altar candles are lit, or more accurately in what happens after the service. Traditionally, following the service, the acolytes light their candle lighters from the altar candles, snuff the altar candles and then walk out to symbolically “carry the light of Christ into the world.” But if that’s the theological meaning, what does it mean that we snuff the altar candles? Does it mean that God has left the building (as the Glory of God left the temple in Ezekiel 10)? Another problem is that our candles are hard to snuff correctly, and when it’s done incorrectly, it damages the candles and candlesticks. To the Worship Design Team, it seemed like both problems could be solved by leaving the altar candles lit through the end of the postlude, and so that’s the new practice we’re trying to live into. And if you’ve made it to the end of the article, I admire your persistence.