A brief history of beeswax candles and the Christian Church
Beeswax candles have a long and rich history, particularly within the Christian Church. The use of candles in religious rituals dates back to ancient civilizations, but it was in the Christian Church that the use of beeswax candles became particularly prominent.
Join us as we explore the history of beeswax candles in the Christian Church and their significance in religious rituals.
Beeswax candles have been used in religious rituals for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and the Romans. However, it was in the Christian Church where the use of beeswax candles became a permanent fixture. The earliest historical records of beeswax candles in the Christian Church date back to the 4th century AD. At this time, the Church was still a relatively new institution, and the use of candles in religious rituals was considered an important symbol of the light of Christ.
During the Middle Ages, the use of beeswax candles in the Church became increasingly common. Monasteries were the primary producers of beeswax candles at this time, and they were often used in religious rituals such as mass and processions. The use of beeswax candles in the Church during this period was not just practical for lighting but also held great symbolic value. The warmth and light of the candles were seen as a representation of the presence of God, and the fragrant smell of the wax was believed to symbolize the sweet aroma of the divine.
In the medieval period, beeswax candles were also used as a symbol of the holiness and purity of the Church. The Church believed that the natural wax from bees was pure, and thus it was the perfect material for making candles to be used in religious rituals. The Church also believed that the process of making the candles, from collecting the wax to shaping the candles, was an act of devotion.
The use of beeswax candles in the Christian Church reached its peak during the Gothic period, when churches were built with high ceilings and large windows. The use of beeswax candles was important not only for lighting but also for decoration. The tall and ornate candles were used to create a sense of awe and wonder in the church.
The use of beeswax candles in the Christian Church declined during the Reformation, when many churches switched to the use of cheaper tallow candles. However, the use of beeswax candles never completely disappeared. Despite the decline of its use during the Reformation, the use of beeswax candles in the Christian Church is still present today and it is a reminder of the long-standing tradition and spiritual significance of beeswax candles.