Altar-taper

Altar-Taper

(so called because they taper in shape), the wax candles used in those candlesticks which are placed on or about the altar; ordinarily those tapers which are lighted during the celebration of the Christian sacrament. Custom in the West expects that at least two be lighted, even at low celebrations; at high celebrations in the Latin Church, as also in some English churches, six tapers are then ordinarily lighted. They symbolize (1) the fact that our Blessed Saviour, "God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God," is the True Light of the World. They are also (2) symbols of joy and gladness on the part of the faithful that Christ is born into the world (α) naturally, i.e. by nature; (β) sacramentally, i.e. in the eucharistic mystery.

 
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