Ask a Franciscan

Donating to Light the Sanctuary Candle

Q: My parish church has recently begun the practice of accepting money to have the sanctuary candle lit in memory of deceased parishioners. The donation is $10 for the week. Is this an acceptable practice? Several people believe this should not take place.

A: The practice of offering money to light the tabernacle lamp or candle is new to me. I cannot say it is wrong, however. If a person may make an offering for a candle to burn before the statue of a saint or the Blessed Virgin, why not before the Blessed Sacrament? If someone wanted to pay the cost of the hosts or wine to be used in the Eucharist, would that be wrong? Or if a person donated a chalice, would that be wrong? Then why not an offering for the sanctuary light?

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