Lighting candles is an important expression in Orthodox worship services. We light them as we prayerfully enter the Church. When lighting a candle, the worshiper prays that his or her life will shine forth full of faith. Lighting a candle symbolically honors Christ and affirms one as His follower. The burning candle symbolizes the warmth and sincerity of our prayers. It is also a common practice to light a candle for someone in need, to honor a saint, or to commemorate a deceased loved one.
When we enter St. Paul’s, we should light a candle and then reverence the icons by making the sign of the Cross and kissing the icon (this is a sign of spiritual love and respect, not the worship of an object). After paying reverence to the icon and lighting our candle in the Narthex, parishioners should immediately and quietly enter the Nave of the church, in order to actively participate in the worship of the Lord our God.