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Catholic Dictionary




The viscous or heat-sensitive solid substance used for candles and other lamps in church and for liturgical services. For centuries beeswax was to be used in the service of the sanctuary as far as possible. And even now candles made of 51 (or more) per cent beeswax are preferable. But the Church's regulation, since the Second Vatican Council, has been less demanding. According to the directives to episcopal conferences, the materials used are suitable "provided they are generally considered worthy and dignified and properly fulfill a sacred purpose" (Enchridion Documentorum Instaurationis Liturgicae, 1664).