Paschal Candle

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  Thank you for your work! I often point new (and older) liturgical staff members to your blog as I love the insight and nuances that you provide. Thank you!

This year we have a newly-minted Deacon at our parish. In planning for Triduum, I have reviewed your article “The Liturgical Role of the Deacon in the Sacred Paschal Triduum.” However, I’m a little unclear about who may carry the Paschal Candle during the Easter Vigil as your 4/1/19 article stated that another suitable minister may carry the candle. Could you please clarify?

Thanks again and good luck in your Holy Week planning!


A:  I should have clarified that blog post from April 1, 2019. The missal says at no. 15 in the Liturgy for the Easter Vigil, “The Deacon or, if there is no Deacon, another suitable minister, takes the paschal candle and a procession forms.”

So, another suitable minister may carry the candle, but only when there is no deacon. Obviously, if the deacon is infirm or incapable of assisting, then someone else may help. 

Notice that the role does not then default to the priest, as, for example, the proclamation of the gospel or introduction to the sign of peace does. Some other minister would fittingly take the candle.