Votive candles or prayer candles can be found at Bellville Catholic Church and in nearly all Catholic Churches. According to A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals, by Ann Ball, the practice of lighting candles in order to obtain some favor probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights.

Some churches ask for only a donation to light one so they can purchase another, while some require a donation if they light the candle on your behalf. There are many churches and Cathedrals over the Internet that will light candles there for you if you send in a donation.

The donation is just to help them purchase new candles. Please realize it is a “donation” not an obligation; if you don’t have the money, you will still be able to light a candle.