Thank you for stopping by Tumbleweed Tidings!  Today I am going to share a little secret find of mine that, while it isn’t really new or life changing, could certainly change the way you think about purchasing candles.  It is one of my favorite, and often overlooked, candles.  I’m talking about the sanctuary candle, or as they are sometimes called, the vigil candle.  Okay, I can see you shaking your head, but stay with me. 

The sanctuary candle is traditionally a candle that is lit in times of solitude, prayer and in remembrance of loved ones. These candles are one of the oldest ways in which many people show gratitude and recognition for their beliefs.  Often on our travels, we visit beautiful cathedrals and churches that are home to some of the most amazing architecture to be found in any city.  One of the thing that hits you the moment you enter, besides the gorgeous alters and ceilings, is the smell of wax in the air from sometimes hundreds of sanctuary candles burning.  There are typically tables full of these candles that you can light and proceed to the pews for a moment of reflection or prayer.  While we are not Catholic, we have on more than one occasion lit candles for our dear Catholic friends who were facing serious medical issues.    

Sanctuary candles are perfect for home décor applications.  I have been using these candles for years, and they are not only inexpensive, but they burn FOREVER.  What many people may not know is that in addition to the traditional white, these candles come in a myriad of colors, and recently I found some at Target that were scented and had a lovely gold band around the top to dress them up.  I immediately put two of those in my cart.  The cost, you might ask?  $1.84 each.  I know!!

Additionally, Target had the unscented varieties in several colors and they sell for $1.54 each.  Wouldn’t those be perfect for Valentine’s Day, a birthday party, or the Fourth of July?  And again, remember that this is for a candle that will burn FOREVER.  I have also seen these candles at the grocery store, so look around and you might find them even cheaper than I did!  I have had my red sanctuary candles since we lived in Hawaii over ten years ago and I burn them in a holiday arrangement almost every year.  They are now down about 3 inches, and you can see them here in the wooden trough I shared this Christmas, still going strong. 

In addition to being, dare we say cheap, sanctuary candles have many added features.  They are tall and slender, so they tuck nicely in among arrangements of greenery or succulents, and yet still stand tall enough to “rise above it all” and show the light.  Also, the longer they burn, the deeper the wick is in the glass cylinder, making them perfect for outdoor use if wind is an issue where you live. 

I don’t know about you, but lately I have found battery operated candles to be a poor substitute for real.  The color of the light always seems a bit off, and even when they are scented, they just don’t feel the same.  For many with small children or pets, battery operated candles still make a good option for safety purposes, but for us empty nesters, real candles fit the bill.  They add ambience, a feeling of warmth, and if desired, a soft scent that fills the space.

So, there you have it.  My secret weapon candle that could start sweeping the nation!  And while I doubt they will replace all of the lovely, expensive candles scented with beautiful oils that are available today, for day to day use, they can be a real winner.  Beautiful, long lasting, colors for most occasions, and inexpensive.  If I’m counting correctly, that makes them a win-win-win-win.

Good tidings,





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