On the rare occasions I post pictures of my working altars, you’ll see two types of candles there: tapers and vigil lights. Sometimes I offer clients a choice, but I also have my own reasons for choosing one over the other.
- burn constantly, so they require less attention one the flame is well established.
- provide welcome extra heat in the winter.
- are easier to dress, so there may be a quicker “turnaround” time.
- are usually available in the colors my clients most frequently need.
- usually get cool labels from my lovely and talented Art Department.
- are available in a wider range of colors.
- can be customized into reversing candles or Road Openers with a wax overlay of the proper color.
- are prayed over daily, since they do not burn constantly but are relit every day.
- are pleasanter to use en masse in hot weather, since they do not burn constantly.
When you need to have a candle burning at an unusually early or late hour (because, folks, 9 am on the East Coast is 6 am for me), I’ll probably start a vigil light at my usual altar time the night before.
When you need a candle that nobody makes as a vigil light – say a pink-and-black reversing candle to keep people from trying to break up your friendships – I’ll customize a taper for you. Often, too, it’s easier to find the color you need as a taper than as a vigil light.
And sometimes I can’t resist my husband’s beautiful labels.