Meanings of the Various Colors of Religious Candles

If you’ve ever had the privilege of beholding colored candles burning within a cathedral or other religious building, you’ve experienced a beautiful sight. People light candles in times of reflection and vigilant prayer to seeking a higher power. A votive candle is lit specifically to symbolize ongoing prayers. Though not everyone practices an organized religion, it’s interesting to investigate the meaning behind each color and the role the colors play in the rituals of lighting candles.


  • Green candles symbolize prosperity, wealth (in some cases), growth, life and vitality.


  • The most popular color of candle is white. White symbolizes eternal life, light and enlightenment. It is also the color of joy and anticipation when used around Christmas.


  • Red candles are used to signify sacrifice. Love, fire and passion are also symbolized by red candles.


  • Gold is a color used throughout the calendar year to symbolize eternal life, joy and victory. It is also often associated with royalty or majesty.


  • Blue candles are often used in conjunction with Lent and Easter. In some circles they signify trust or faith.


  • Purple or violet candles are symbols of remorse, preparation and repentance. Purple candles are most often lit in the religious season of Advent, which is the time leading up to Christmas. Advent is a season of anticipation.


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