Sheffield Cathedral have taken delivery of a pair of newly commissioned processional candle stands. They have been designed and made by the renowned designer Corin Mellor in his workshop in Hathersage. The materials used reflect and celebrate Sheffield’s metalwork history.
The candle stands, also known as Acolyte Candles, will be used for the first time at the Royal Maundy Service on Thursday 2nd April.
Shown Above: James Nicholls, Corin Mellor from David Mellor Designs, Rev Canon Keith Farrow, Canon Missioner.
Acolyte Candles have been used in worship from very early in the life of the church.
During the later Roman Empire, when magistrates and other officials walked in public, they were preceded by soldiers carrying torches and the “fasces,” a construction of bound rods and axes, symbolic of their authority and power.
When Christianity became a legal religion, the cross was carried in front of clergy on official duties and the Book of the Gospels, surrounded by candles—a highly political statement that the power of the Roman emperor had been superseded by the humility and gentleness of God.
Even since, candles have been carried in larger churches beside the cross and the Gospel Book by two servers or “acolytes”.
The Acolyte candles have been made in silver with the Sheffield hallmark and aluminium.
Two lines from a hymn by the famous Sheffield hymn writer, James Montgomery, who is buried in Sheffield Cathedral grounds, have been engraved on them:
Hail to the Lord’s anointed,
great David’s greater son.
His Name shall stand forever,
his Name to us is love.
The candles symbolise Christ presence and Montgomery’s hymn is a hymn of praise to Christ.
The Acolyte candles have been funded by a generous gift from The Friends of Sheffield Cathedral.