We have already spoken in a previous article about the importance of candles in religious celebrations. At home, but particularly within churches and shrines, their light is a constant call to the Light of God, and in particular to the figure of Jesus, the Light of the World. More generally, the light of the candles that illuminates the naves of the churches, the chapels of the sanctuaries, reminds us of the faith that illuminates the darkness and keeps the darkness away. So it’s very important that a place of worship is always well supplied with candles, whether they are votive candles for the faithful offerings near the altars and the statues of the saints, rather than baptismal candles, the funerary ones used in processions, and so on.
But where do parish priests and ministrants generally buy candles and votives?
Of course, there are shops specializing in religious items that sell this kind of products, and candle manufacturers that sell retail, but in recent years the trend has been for parishes and dioceses to buy candles and and votives online.
What are the advantages of buying candles online? There are many, but we want to focus only on five, which seem to us the most significant.
Obviously buying online rather than physically going to a store is much more practical. What’s more comfortable than an “open” shop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? You don’t have to worry about finding the time to go in person to make purchases, perhaps getting stuck in traffic, or making a long journey. Buying online is fast, easy without constraints, without queues on the counter or at the cash desk and unnecessary waiting times.
It is convenient for everyone, even for priests, who already have so many commitments to face in their daily mission.
The products can be ordered comfortably from your computer, and delivered at times that are not only acceptable, but can often be adjusted according to your needs. For example, if a parish needs to be supplied with candles on a regular basis, it will be able to establish an online purchase calendar so it can be certain it will never run out of supplies. You can receive the quantities of products you need on a specific date directly at home, without having to give it an more consideration.
Moreover, for festivals, such as Christmas or Easter, which require special candles and votives to be purchased, like Easter Candles, the parish cannot risk not finding what it needs, because often stocks tend to be insufficient, in these situations, and do not guarantee the quantities needed to meet the demand, which increases considerably at this time.
No unpleasant journeys, therefore, no waiting, no queueing, and the guarantee of never being without candles and votives. So with one click there’s a lot you don’t have to think about.
As with any product, even candles and votives need to be stored in a space, which costs the vendors money.
In addition to this, physical stores inevitably have a whole series of intermediations and expenses that end up making the final price for the buyer increase. This doesn’t happen when buying online. E-commerce can avoid many of the problems which are the order of the day for physical stores, and this often allows them to guarantee products at a lower or discounted prices compared to the same products purchased in store. That’s right, buying online means you can often take advantage of special offers and discounts. Furthermore, cheap offers and quantity discounts are the norm. Just scroll through any of the virtual shops that sell candles and votives, because your eye will be drawn to numerous ads for ‘bulk discounts’ and offers of up to 20%, 30% or 40% off the usual price. All this means huge savings, on a product that is needed the whole year, which does not expire, does not go out of fashion and serves everyone!
As they don’t have any ancillary expenses, companies that sell online can invest more in the quality of materials. In fact, just like for any other kind of product, even candles and votives, if made with good quality materials, have a better performance. For example, not everyone knows that properly packaged candles made with quality materials do not have wax that runs down their surfaces. A low oil content, to mention only one recurring defect, avoids drips and prevents fires. The candles are produced, mostly with refined white wax, paraffin, incense, aromatic oils that give them particular aromas. Care in choosing these raw materials ensures the best performance for the finished product, avoids unnecessary pollution, bad smells, hard to remove incrustations, furniture being by wax and heat, and so on.
Wider product ranges
Online stores offer much larger and more diverse showcases than you could ever offer a physical store, no matter how big.
The range of candles and candles can be found in their virtual pages are so many, and meet every requirement and need. They range from simple votive candles, to minor altars and statues, to all shapes and sizes, to white or coloured wax, to votive candles. Naturally, there are vast assortments of Easter candles, of all sizes and with a vast selection of decors, with corresponding portacero bases. There is no shortage of Christmas candles, with countless models, not only those used by churches, but also those to beautify a home and give it an air of celebration: shaped like a Christmas tree, star, holly, angel, and so on. What’s more, online stores also offer a wide selection of metal candlesticks, altar crosses with candlesticks, chandeliers, lamps for the Altissimo and all of the items that can be used as candles and votives.
Although there’s still a lot of distrust towards online purchases, at least in our country, they are, in most cases, paradoxically safer than those made in physical stores. We assume scammers have been around since long before the Internet was invented, but having said that, buying from online sites is safer and more reliable, because e-commerce shops are forced by law to use certificates and security protocols that physical stores don’t have to. These certificates store user data in an encrypted form, especially sensitive data like credit card information. In addition, online purchases have an advantage also from the point of view of consumer protection, because they have to guarantee by law a right to return the purchase within ten days of making the order, in most cases with free returns. This right, which is governed by Italian Legislative Decree185 of 1999, doesn’t apply to physical stores, which, consequently, offer less guarantees of refunds for inadequate or damaged goods.