Q: Any suggestions about a practical way to do the Blessing of Candles at a school mass for the Presentation of the Lord? Our particular situation doesn’t really allow for the school children to meet in a different location outside of the church (not even in our narthex) to properly do the blessing of candles and a procession from the school has disorder written all over it. Also, not sure how practical/good of an idea it would be to have the school children with lighted candles (particularly the younger ones) even if they were already inside the church for the blessing. Is the rite obligatory before the Mass? Could this rite be adapted, perhaps with the blessing of candles after the POF over a collection of church candles to be used later? Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thank you.
A: I remember attending this Mass at a parish church in Rome about 20 years ago—a respectable church, part of the stational church route. The priests completely ignored both Forms of the candle blessing, and just celebrated the day as a usual Mass, not a blessed candle in sight.
But in your situation, I advise the Second Form: The Solemn Entrance. Instead of giving candles to everyone, give them to a few people. Gather them inside the front door of the church, the kids in the pews.
This is a beautiful tradition within the Catholic Church, and you have a golden opportunity to introduce children to it at a very young age.