Can sanctuary lamps be some color other than red?

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A friend recently told me she was at a Catholic church whose sanctuary lamp was enclosed in glass that was not red. Is this OK?


Yes. While red is considered the traditional color of a sanctuary lamp, there is no liturgical law regulating the lamp color. What is required is that the lamp be near the tabernacle “fueled by oil or wax, and should be kept alight to indicate and honor the presence of Christ” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal 316).

Peggy Frye


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  1. Carol Goodson Reply

    “fueled by oil or wax…” Interestingly, another questioner asked if it could be electric, and they were told YES, that there are no rules in Canon Law about that.

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