Baptismal Candles FAQ
What are baptismal candles?
Baptismal Candles are central to the baptismal ceremony. They usually
include one large decorated white candle for the ceremony and two or
more smaller white candles to be carried by the children who circle the
What is the typical baptismal candle?
The traditional decoration of a baptismal candle includes a large bow
of ribbon or tulle with streamer. The candle is usually 16 inches to
33" inches in height, however, may be any length of the Godparents’
When are the candles used during a baptism? The
use of the candles comes into play during the ceremony after the
Sacrament of Baptism. While the baby is dressed into his or her new
baptismal clothing in a side room of the church, the children who are
invited to participate in the ceremony are called up to the altar and
given their baptismal candle to hold. Traditionally, 1 to 5 children
participate. Children's candles are typically smaller and more basic in
decoration than the main baby’s baptismal candle.
When the baby returns to the altar, the decorated baptismal
candle is lit. The priest, the godparent holding the infant and a few
selected children walk around the font three full times - symbolizing a
dance of celebration for the baby who has newly entered into the
church. The main decorated candle is held by the second Godparent (if
there is one), the Godparent, or a parent of the child.
When in the year are baptisms not allowed? Baptisms are not permitted from December 25 to January 6, on Easter Holy Week & on major feast days.
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