Q: On January 2, 2023, you replied to a question about reusing the Paschal Candle indicating that such was not permitted, citing CDWDS Circular Letter Protocol № 120/88, number 82. I have two questions:
First the footnote of the cited section referenced the Easter Vigil rubrics 10 and 12. Yet those rubrics make new mention of the need for a new candle (indeed, I cannot find any such mention in any of the Easter Vigil rubrics). Consequently, I am not sure what the basis of this assertion is.
Second, and the reason that I bring this up, if the pastor makes a determination that a new Paschal Candle is beyond the parish’s prudent financial needs, how much discretion does he have in treating this as a required purchase?
Thanks, as always, for your insight.
A: All the rubrics pertaining to the candle presume that it is new. The very carving of the candle with the cross, year, alpha and omega signify that this new candle is being designated for this purpose. Even the lighting of the candle and the Exsultet presumes that this new candle is bringing new light into the church. It may be that the circular letter intended to clarify what should have been understood.
If a parish cannot afford a new candle, any simpler candle may be used. The rubrics do not call for a previously decorated candle. The carving of the candle is its primary decoration. And the nails with grains of incense are optional.