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When is the Easter candle removed from the sanctuary?


Andreas Solarus | AFP

Philip Kosloski - published on 05/20/23

The Easter or Paschal candle is removed at the conclusion of the Easter season.

One unique aspect of the Easter season is the presence of the Easter or Paschal candle in the sanctuary. It is located next to the pulpit or ambo and lit during each public Mass offered.

However, at the conclusion of the Easter season, the candle is removed and typically only brought out during baptisms and funerals.

The Roman Missal explains that it should be removed after the final Mass on Pentecost Sunday.

With Easter time now concluded, the Paschal candle is extinguished. it is desirable to keep the Paschal candle in the baptistery with due honor so that it is lit at the celebration of baptism and the candles of those baptized are lit from it.

Previously the Paschal candle was removed on the feast of the Ascension, as Dom Prosper Gueranger explains in his Liturgical Year.

The Deacon having sung [the Gospel], an Acolyte ascends the Ambo and extinguishes the Paschal Candle, the sweet symbol of our Jesus’ presence for the Forty Days after his Resurrection. This expressive rite tells us of the widowhood of Holy Mother Church, and that we, when we would contemplate our beloved Lord, must turn our hearts to heaven, for it is there that he is to be seen.

In the liturgical reforms of the 20th century, it was decided that the candle should stay lit until Pentecost, in order to highlight the paschal nature of Pentecost and to show that Pentecost is the conclusion of the Easter season.

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