I get annoyed when candles I have taken a great deal of effort to bless, that are supposed to be an icon of Christ and symbolise our wisdom and burning faith are just left in the pews or at the back of Church, especially as we hand out rather expensive 'altar' candles rather cheap little votive ones.
The problem is of course that Candlemas is a not very important feast in the present liturgy, which in our electrified times is not surprising, candles are not really necessary in church today and no-one spends most of winter making them.
Dr Rock that great nineteenth century Southwark priest, antiquarian and one of the founders of the V&A, makes a point somewhere of the disastrous impact of the Protestant Reformation on bee-keepers. Before the Reformation they were concerned more about the wax than the honey. He tells of great Paschal candles weighing several hundred-weight that that were kept alight from Easter to Ascension, they were so tall that they had to be lit from clerestory.
Wills often contained bequests for candles to be lit before images and shrines, the kings candle burnt at Walsingham, its extinction marked the end of Catholic England, just the same as Bloody Bess' command to the monks of Westminster when they met her on her accession at the Abbey door said, 'Gentlemen, we have day-light enough, there is no need for your lights', gave a clear indication of what was to come.
The use of candles at the Easter Vigil seems to undermine this feast, or at least duplicate one of its important rites but of course in more ancient times, the candle blessed at Candlemas would have been used at the Vigil which occurred on Holy Saturday morning, as well as practically every other procession people took part in, the most important of course, or at least the one most people connected with, was the procession of the dead from the Church to the cemetery after their Requiem as well as either greeting or being part the procession that would accompany the priest bringing Viaticum. The reception therefore of the candle at Candlemas was a sort of ticket to take part in other religious rites.