Using table candle stands by the Orthodox Church is a significant part of worship. It is a common practice in this tradition to offer a lighted candle in church and pray with reverence. There are different types of candle stands used in churches. Various Christian denominations follow different traditions and rules regarding the type and number of candles lit and used during church services.
Special liturgical candlesticks are used by the Bishop of the Orthodox Church; these are called dikirion and trikirion meaning dual and triple respectively. These decorative candle stands are used to bless the faithful as well as the clergymen. Holding the triple candlestick in the right hand and the dikirion in the left, the bishop blesses the people. Both these candlesticks have a horizontal flat bottom; hence, it can be easily placed on the table. There is an upright shaft above the base and at the top is the candleholder. These table candle stands for the Orthodox Church are symbolic. The dikirion represents Jesus’ dual nature and the trikirion stands for the Holy Trinity, the 3 persons in one God. During the Divine Liturgy, the candle stands are placed on the corners of the altar table; the dikirion to the left and the trikirion to the right. The Subdeacons carry them to the Bishop when required.
The Paschal Trikirion
The Paschal trikirions are table candle stands for the Orthodox Church used by Priests unlike the trikirion that is only used by the Bishop. They are used during the Paschal service; it is carried by the main celebrant in his left hand. Particularly, it is used when the Paschal verses are chanted. This candlestick comes in two forms; one according to the Greek tradition, the other as per the Slavic tradition. The Paschal trikirion according to the Greeks has a smooth, flat base with a shaft and three candleholders on the top. The three candles are symbolic as it represents the Holy Trinity and also Christ’s Resurrection on the 3rd day. Sometimes, you can find the icon of Jesus’ Resurrection on the base of the candlestick. The candleholders according to the Slavic custom are fixed to a blessing crucifix; this cannot stand upright and has to be held.
Candelabras and Acolyte Candle Stands
Besides the table candle stands for the Orthodox Church, there are floor candlesticks that are placed on the church floor; these are tall and large. Acolyte candlesticks are held by altar boys and used during special church processions. They have a long vertical section called the staff; this is fixed to the base of the candle stand. You can find them in different sizes with elegantly- shaped globes that can be interchanged. Candelabras have the same parts as candlesticks; but, you can get floor and altar varieties. Some of them have adjustable arms that can be lowered or raised independently. Most candle stands are made of brass; some are made of wood. Brass stands have to be polished regularly to maintain the sheen.