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Lighting Candles For The Dead

I saw a TV show about Hasidic Jews in New York the other night. One went to the grave of a famous rabbi to pray there. Many previous visitors had lit candles at his grave. Traditional Jews in Israel do similar things. Is this idolatry?

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 ---Cluny on 5/23/12
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Good point Eloy but...sometimes we don't always know if our loved ones are with the Lord and that can sure cause grief if we assume they are not. I was at least blessed with my latest (and only one left) brother to die, when a friend told me if I ever prayed for him, God surely answered and I believe in my heart He did.
---Mary on 6/1/12


Mourning for the dead is a tradition. But when the Jew becomes a Christian, then they will no longer mourn as a Christian during loss of a loved one, for we have the blessed promise from the Lord, that after life on earth the Christian is present with the Lord.
---Eloy on 5/30/12


StrongAxe: "Yes, but remember that Jesus himself wept for Lazarus,.."

Jesus did not weep because Lazarus was dead for Jesus knew he could raise him. Jesus wept not for Lazarus, but for the people. Reread the story again very slowly. Notice the word groan.

John 11:1-45

If you want to do an indepth study of the dead do an online KJV bible search for the word "dead."
---Steveng on 5/29/12


steveng:

You said: Does not the bible say we are not to cry or mourn for the dead? Remember, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Yes, but remember that Jesus himself wept for Lazarus, even though he then shortly aftwards raised him from the dead. If Jesus can mourn the dead, why can't we?
---StrongAxe on 5/29/12


Cluny:

Your original post asked: Is this idolatry?

That would depend on the reason the candles were used. If they are as a memorial, no. But if they are used as some kind of magical device to invoke supernatural effects (such as divine intervention, mitigation of purgatory, etc.), then yes.

The same can apply to any other kind of object, including pictures and statues of people we respect and revere.
---StrongAxe on 5/29/12




Remember, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
---Steveng on 5/28/12

Steveng,

And he said " God of Isaac, Jacob and Abraham"!
---Ruben on 5/29/12


\\The Apostle Paul instructs us:
1Th4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.\\

And this does not mean not to grieve at all, but not to sorrow as those who are without hope. You didn't think that, did you?

Jesus Himself wept at the tomb of Lazarus. Is He not our example?

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 5/28/12


Steven, the Church has prayed for the dead since its earliest days,. so I will continue to do that. God bless you.
---Catholicus on 5/28/12


The Apostle Paul instructs us:
1Th4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

Paul does not mean that we are not to mourn when our loved ones go to their heavenly home. Paul instructs us not to sorrow or morn as the people do that do not have any hope. We have a great and faithful hope and assurance in Christ Jesus our Lord!!!
---trey on 5/28/12


\\Does not the bible say we are not to cry or mourn for the dead?\\

Can you say where, Steveng?

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 5/28/12




Catholicus,

My post of 5/27/12 may sound a little cold to a weak christian or even a non christian, but is actually paraphrased from the Word of God. In fact, the first sentence, "Let the dead take care of the dead.", is a paraphrased quote from Jesus himself meaning 'let the spiritually dead take care of the physically dead.' Are we as christians suppose to love Jesus more than the dead? Are we as christians to worship God the Father than worship the dead with candles and prayers? Can the dead praise the Lord? Does not the bible say we are not to cry or mourn for the dead? Remember, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
---Steveng on 5/28/12


Cluny, okay thanks. I know Western Orthodoxy isn't really big yet, although there is one parish about 15 miles from us.
---Catholicus on 5/27/12


Steven, I'm sad that you are so disconnected from those believers who have gone on before you. Peace to you.
---Catholicus on 5/27/12


Let the dead take care of the dead. All the prayers and candles in the world are in vain for the dead are asleep and know nothing of what's going on in the present world. Can a dead person repent of his sins? Can a dead person be baptised? All the prayers and candles in the world are in vain for dead shall be resurrected and will be judged from the Book of Life according to their works while they were yet alive.
---Steveng on 5/27/12


To answer your question, Catholicus, Eastern.

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 5/27/12


Trish, I'm sorry you feel that way. Prayers were made for the dead from the earliest years of the church. God bless you.
---Catholicus on 5/27/12


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Catholicus: Kind? Maybe. But, an utter waste of money and time. There is no purgatory. Their relatives are either in Heaven or Hell, and there is nothing anybody here can do about it now.
---Trish on 5/27/12


Trish, that was a kindly thing for them to do.
---Catholicus on 5/27/12


When I was growing up in the Roman Catholic Church, there were candle stands with a lot of candles burning. People would put money in a box, light a candle, and pray for dead relatives to get out of purgatory.
---Trish on 5/26/12


Cluny, is your parish Eastern Orthodox or Western Orthodox?
---Catholicus on 5/24/12


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Cluny, I can't see how bringing candles to a grave is any more idolatrous than bringing flowers.
---Catholicus on 5/24/12


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