A votive candle or prayer candle is a small candle, typically white or beeswax yellow, intended to be burnt as a votive offering in an act of Christian prayer, especially within the Anglican and Roman Catholic Christian denominations, among others.In Christianity, votive candles are commonplace in many churches, as well as home altars, and symbolize the "prayers the worshipper is offering for him or herself, or for other people."The size of a votive candle is often two inches tall by one and a half inches diameter, although other votive candles can be significantly taller and wider.
Votive candles are made from different types of waxes including paraffin, soy wax or beeswax. There are different grades of wax with different melting points. Paraffin is often mixed with other types of waxes, such as beeswax or vegetable wax. This is done to obtain the rigidity necessary for the type of candle being made. The speed at which the candle burns depends on the composition of the wax. A taper candle that sits in a ring-shaped candle holder may have a low melting point and produce little to no oil, whereas a votive candle set in a glass cup may have a very low melting point and turn to oil. Pillar candles, large candles often with multiple wicks, have their own formula. Soy jar candles tend to have a lower melting point than pillars and votive candles. Candle quality also varies widely depending on the candle maker. The aroma of a lighted scented candle is released through the evaporation of the fragrance from the hot wax pool and from the solid candle itself.