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Triple-Candlestick

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A name given along with several others (e.g. reed, tricereo, arundo, triangulum, lumen Christi ) to a church ornament used only in the office of Holy Saturday . The three candles of which it is composed are successively lighted, as the sacred ministers proceed up the church, from the fire consecrated in the porch, and at each lighting the deacon sings the acclamation "Lumen Christi", the assistants genuflecting and answering "Deo gratias". As this ceremony is fully discussed under the heading L UMEN C HRISTI (and cf. L ITURGICAL U SE OF F IRE ) it will be sufficient to say a word here about the material instrument used for the purpose. Both the rubrics of the Missal and the "Caeremoniale Episcoporum" seem to assume that the so-called triple candlestick is not a permanent piece of furniture, but merely an arrangement of three candles temporarily attached to a reed or wand, such a reed for example as is used by the acolytes to light the candles with. "Praeparetur arundo cum tribus candelis in summitate positis" ( Caer. Epis., II, xxvii, I). In practice, however, we often find a brass candlestick constructed for the purpose with a long handle. Barbier de Montault (Traité pratique, ete.,II,311) infers from the wording of the Missal rubric (arundo cum tribus candelis in summitate illius triangulo distinctis) that one of the three candles should stand higher than the other, so that the three flames may form a triangle in the vertical plane. A triple and double candlestick are used by bishops of the Greek Church to bless the people with, and an elaborate symbolism is attached to this rite.

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