Why a Courting Candle?

A young lady coming of age to begin dating often arouses fears for her parents. Many years ago my husband light-heartedly suggested we send our daughter to a convent until she was 30. Should we have invested in a courting candle?

Before you learn their real purpose, you might assume the spiraled courting candle adds ambiance to the room where a young couple enjoys each other’s company. Candles enhance romantic settings, but the courting candle’s purpose–a timer for how long the “date” could last.

In the 1600s-1800s, the young lady’s father set the time by how much he trusted the suitor and his desire to protect his daughter. Can you imagine that concept being acceptable today? Me either.

Responsibility for setting the courting candle boundaries belonged to the father. In a scene from Tangled Promises, the protagonist’s father allows her sister to chaperone and allows her the charge. I believe he knew how the whole family disliked the man he chose to court his daughter. He trusted Clara’s sister would twist and shorten the candle, causing it to burn down more quickly–and time for Georg to leave.

That might have been a sad moment if the girl really cared about the man. Clara was most grateful to end the evening early.

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. ~2 Timothy 2:22 (ESV)

Learn more about courting candles at The Old Timey.

Scripture verse from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV) is adapted from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright 2019, Lynn U. Watson

Copyright 2022, Lynn U. Watson

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