Lighting candles in prayer before the icons

I wasn't raised in the Coptic church but am a convert. I was wondering if there was an inappropriate time to light the candles in front of the icons? Should it be done before the service starts only or can it be done during the mass?


  • seeing as there are about 2 people there before the service starts and about 100 candles burning at the end of the liturgy, i think it's ok to light them during the service!
    (or 98% copts are wrong!)

    i have only been an orthodox Christian 5 years, so others here can correct me it i am wrong.
    it seems arriving late is nowhere near as offensive in coptic (and most orthodox) cultures as it is in european and north american cultures.

    we should arrive at the liturgy before the time of the general absolution ('priest says 'your servants, oh Lord...' ending with ' and ends with 'and from the moth of my abject self').
    But even this has been made less strict so that as long as you come before the reading of the gospel (and are fasting, and are orthodox), you can take Holy Communion. I think this is because in many cases, people have to travel long distances to work and public transport often does not work very early in the morning. 

    so, if you arrive early enough to take Holy Communion, it's certainly ok to also light candles.
    and if you arrive late for a good reason (not because you were posting on '' till 2am...) you can certainly light them late.
    basically, lighting candles is a request to God to hear your prayer, so it makes sense to do it before the end of Holy Communion, when Jesus' Holy Body and precious Blood are present.

    But people come into churches at other times to light candles, so if there are other candles there, you can light yours (and if not, maybe one of the sub deacons can give you a match).

    So the short answer is don't worry about it!
    And welcome to the forum (and the church), may God bless your fast and feast (feast of the cross today)
  • thank you for your answer. That is in line with what I thought,  I have a friend who had a negative experience in a Greek Orthodox Church and when she mentioned it, it got me thinking that maybe there were some rules regarding this that I was unaware of. Have a beautiful day,
  • there are all sorts of rules in eastern orthodox churches.

    i went to a long vespers service in a russian church (no translation but a few of the songs were in english) and the subdeacons (i think that is what they were) went around extinguishing the candles at 2 points in the service. i asked someone about it and he tried to explain it but there was a big language barrier and i didn't get it.

    maybe you could ask about it on '' where there are lots of EO Christians.

  • edited March 2014
    Mabsoota, are you sure you have been Orthodox for only 5 years? From your posts its sounds like you been Orthodox for a lot longer!!!!! 
    May be you are turning into one of those people who are always 29, you know in an Orthodox way ;)

    In Christ
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