Wednesday, January 30, 2008

February 2 is Candlemas Day

A beautiful painting of St. Simeon holding Jesus (Simeon's Moment by Ron DiCianni)

On February 2 the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Old Calendar: Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also known as Candlemas day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in today's liturgy.

Traditionally it is called Candlemas because those candles that are blessed on this day help us remember the words of holy Simeon who called the babe in his arms,

"A light to lighten the gentiles and the glory of your people, Israel." Luke 2: 32

Things You and Your Family Can Do:

  • Ask your parish priest to bless the candles that you will be using on your home altar this year.
  • Have a family Candlemas procession, found in the prayer links.
  • Read Luke 2:22-35, the account of the presentation including the Canticle of Simeon.
  • Meditate on the constant fiat of Our Lady of Sorrows, who embraced the will of God even as Simeon predicted that a sword would pierce her heart.
Catholic Culture
Waltzing Matilda (H/T painting)

Before the revision of the General Roman Calendar this marked the end of the Christmas season. The reformed calendar has designated that the Sunday after Epiphany, the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, is the end of the Christmas season. This feast is no longer referred to as the "Purification of Mary" but the "Presentation of the Lord."

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