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Perry Fusco wrote:

Hi, guys —

In my parish, the advent wreath candles and the tabernacle are gas.

  • Is this OK according to Canon Law?

Thanks,

Perry

  { In my parish, is it OK for our advent wreath candles and the tabernacle to be gas? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Perry —

Boy, I've never heard of that one. What I don't know is if there are any written Church guidelines on how an Advent wreath must be constructed.

This article also may help:

There was nothing I could find under Canon law on this issue.
The only thing I could find on the Vatican web site is this:

Congregation For Divine Worship And The Discipline Of The Sacraments

Directory On Popular Piety And The Liturgy — Principles And Guidelines
Vatican City, December 2001

In Advent

96. Advent is a time of waiting, conversion and of hope: waiting-memory of the first, humble coming of the Lord in our mortal flesh; waiting-supplication for his final, glorious coming as Lord of History and universal Judge; conversion, to which the Liturgy at this time often refers quoting the prophets, especially John the Baptist, "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3,2); joyful hope that the salvation already accomplished by Christ (cf. Romans 8, 24-25) and the reality of grace in the world, will mature and reach their fullness, thereby granting us what is promised by faith, and "we shall become like him for we shall see him as he really is" (John 3,2).

97. Popular piety is particularly sensitive to Advent, especially when seen as the memory of the preparation for the coming of the Messiah. The Christian people are deeply conscious of the long period of expectation that preceded the birth of our Saviour. The faithful know that God sustained Israel's hope in the coming of the Messiah by the prophets.

Popular piety is not unaware of this extraordinary event. Indeed, it is awestruck at the prospect of the God of glory taking flesh in the womb of the humble and lowly Virgin Mary. The faithful are particularly sensitive to the difficulties faced by the Virgin Mary during her pregnancy, and are deeply moved by the fact that there was no room at the inn for Joseph and Mary, just as she was about to give birth to the Christ child (cf Luke 2,7).

Various expressions of popular piety connected with Advent have emerged throughout the centuries. These have sustained the faith of the people, and from one generation to the next, they have conserved many valuable aspects of the liturgical season of Advent.

The Advent Wreath

98. Placing four candles on green fronds has become a symbol of Advent in many Christian home, especially in the Germanic countries and in North America.

The Advent wreath, with the progressive lighting of its four candles, Sunday after Sunday, until the Solemnity of Christmas, is a recollection of the various stages of salvation history prior to Christ's coming and a symbol of the prophetic light gradually illuminating the long night prior to the rising of the Sun of justice (cf. Malachi 3:2 [no Malachi 3:20]; Luke 1:78).


Advent processions

99. In many regions, various kinds of processions are held in Advent, publicly to announce the imminent birth of the Saviour (the "day star" in some Italian processions), or to represent the journey to Bethlehem of Joseph and Mary and their search for a place in which Jesus would be born (the posadas in the Hispanic and Latin American tradition).

The Winter Interstice

100. Advent is celebrated during the Winter interstice in the northern hemisphere. This indicate a change of seasons and a moment of rest in many spheres of human endeavor. Popular piety is extremely sensitive to the vital cycle of nature. While the Winter interstice is celebrated, the seed lays in the ground waiting for the light and heat of the sun, which begins its ascent with the Winter solstice, and eventually causes it to germinate.

In those areas where popular piety has given rise to the celebration of the changing season, such expressions should be conserved and used as a time to pray the Lord, to reflect on the meaning of human work, which is a collaboration with the creative work of God, a self-realization of the person, service to the common good, and an actualization of the plan of redemption(114).

Hope this helps,

Mike

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Perry —

Yes, it is OK.

It's not really gas, but oil, I believe.

In any case, the advent wreath is non-liturgical so it doesn't matter what the "candles" are, because the regulations for liturgical candles only cover liturgical candles, and they must be
51% beeswax, or, if necessary, for some reason, oil, preferably olive oil, I think.

Mary Ann

Perry replied:

Thanks!

Perry

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