My informant brought up a connection to her grandmother as I looked at the veladoras in her room. “So I collect veladoras with the image of the virgen de guadalupe on them. I’m not religious at all, although my family is catholic. My grandmother who I was very close to was very devote to the virgen [she’s supposed to be the patron saint of mexico and the indigenous people who converted to catholicism]. She would light a veladora for her every night and it was bad luck for it to go out until it completely burned out. she burned them for my grandfather who had passed away the year I was born. when I used to visit her in the summer I would be her helper and it was my job to light them for her and make sure they stayed on all night. I didn’t have to but I would get up & check in the night to make sure it was still on. My grandma passed away this summer and I light veladoras for her. I can’t let them burn all night like I used to but she would always say the saint and the soul you would burning it for would understand as long you remembered them.”
The practice my informant began was something that connected her, not to her religion, as it did somewhat with her grandmother, but to her grandmother. She is taking a practice that is supposed to be a religious one out of it’s religion and uses it as a means of remembrance to the dead, but also away to feel connected to her grandmother’s soul. These candles were also made to continue a silent prayer even after one stops praying. The waiting until the candle is completely burned relates to candle magic where often the candles have to burn through completely for the magic to take.