Family Dinner Traditions: Lighting candles for others

Lighting a candle is a way of extending a prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf the prayer is offered. While we view this as a spiritual practice, it can also be a nice secular way of honoring others.  

This week, each day I’m sharing some of the traditions we’ve established for our meals as a family. After we say our prayer to start dinner, we do a quick candle lighting for any people we want to be thinking about or pay honor to during our meal. This is a newer habit for me. Lighting candles is a common ritual in the Catholic faith, and we’ve adapted it in our own home because I like the symbolism. It’s so common to tell others that “we’re praying for them” but I find that lighting a candle for someone gives this kind of prayer both a tangible act and a visual reminder. Before most meals we will ask the kids if there is anyone they think we should light a candle for. We have several on the table (purchased at Target) and there is no need to light them all.  In this particular photo, we had lit candles for a friend’s dad who was burned in a fire, and another friend’s grandpa who was ill.

Lighting a candle is a way of extending a prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf the prayer is offered. While we view this as a spiritual practice, it can also be a nice secular way of honoring others.

Lighting a candle is a way of extending a prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf the prayer is offered. While we view this as a spiritual practice, it can also be a nice secular way of honoring others.

Do you have any routines around candles, or other rituals for thinking of others?

You can check out our other mealtime traditions here:




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