Fr. John continues to give us interesting topics on which to blog – the latest is oil lamps. We have four of these at our church – the three on the altar and the one on the sacrament table on the soleas. If you are wondering what happens to the olive oil left over from baptisms, well, there you go – it gets used to fuel the lamps. They are only lit during services – they do not burn continuously. The oil lamps at the seminary chapel do burn continuously, and so when filling those we were always told to put a layer of water in the bottom and then add oil. This way, if the oil burns out, the water will extinguish the flame and thus prevent a possible glass explosion.
Because we had a catastrophic fire at the church we have a special agreement with the city of Marlborough concerning candles (even though the cause of the fire had nothing to do with candles or anything in the church). The votive candles in front of the iconostasis must be extinguished before we leave the building, while the ones in the narthex can burn throughout the week. This is why you will often see red votive candles stuck in the sand in the boxes in the narthex along with the regular beeswax candles.