Do Not Burn Near Combustibles.
Those are the words embossed on the votive candles at San Fernando Cathedral.
Repetition is a design term, and refers to the use of an element more than once in a composition. Including an element multiple times in a picture serves several purposes.
The artist's intent could be to generate balance among design elements. The use of repetition could also be a visual clue from the artist, indicating the importance of an element to the composition's story line. Grouping like elements sends a message that is quite different from the use of an element all by itself, at least partly because sheer numbers generate a visual impact more powerful than the use of a single element. Imagine how different this picture would be if only one candle glowed in the dark. Perhaps then it would read visually as a beacon. Or a single prayer or wish.
The use of repetition in this picture supports a different message. It suggests hundreds of prayers being offered simultaneously. Each one unique and important, but each made more powerful as part of the collective offering.