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Sunday, November 23, 2014
The Sanctus Candle During Low Mass

 Notice the small candle lit on the altar.  Msgr. Michael Schmitz, ICRSS, celebrating Mass in Stockholm, Sweden. Photo copyright Daniel Nygård.

While those familiar with the Traditional Latin Mass will know of the candles lit and used by the torchbearers for the Consecration at the High Mass, have you noticed a special sanctus candle at a Low Mass?

Fr. Ronald Brown describes:
Being that the "Low Mass" is really a "cut down" version of the High Mass (which is more proper but not practical in most parishes) the one Sanctus candle remains. In some places a "sanctus candle" was lit on a wall bracket on each side of the altar, or on the floor.

The use of the sanctus candle is required by the rubrics and ignored by is called the "sanctus" or "elevation" candle and lit prior to the Canon. The rubrics mandate the use of it.
 The Catholic Encyclopedia describes it accordingly:

"The rubrics of the "Roman Missal" direct that at the Sanctus, even of any private Mass, an additional candle should be lighted and should burn until after the Communion of the priest. This rubric however is much neglected in practice even in Rome itself." in this pic you see it at the Epistle side of the altar.


del_button November 24, 2014 at 2:28 AM
Marie said...

In the Philippines when I was growing up [late '50's-early 60's] there was always a Sanctus candle at EVERY Mass, low or high.
It was lit as the priest was finishing the Preface, then placed at the Epistle side of the altar from the point of the Sanctus until the priest has had his Communion.
Then it was carried by a sacristan to the communion rails, as if lighting the communicants as they received the Lord [on their knees and on the tongue] with a long-handled paten placed under their chin. Only after everybody had received was the Sanctus candle put out.
I came to the US and have been attending a TLM and noticed "something was missing." So I suggested to our priest that we have the Sanctus candle and he complied. We've been having one every Sunday. Deo gratias.

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