Saturday, February 4, 2017


Anna and Simeon seeing Jesus and His parents in the Temple
Updated from the Archives...

Yesterday I attended Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity, and as it was the day after Candlemas, otherwise known as The Presentation of Christ in the Temple OR The Purification of Mary--all of which are celebrated on February 2 (yep, the same day as Groundhog Day), we celebrated Candlemas during our weekly Healing Service. 

But what is Candlemas exactly?

The site defines Candlemas as "The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, traditionally called Candlemas, commemorates the presentation of Christ in the temple, and the ritual purification of the Virgin Mary. The feast falls on February 2nd." 

Basically, Candlemas marks forty days after Christ's birth when Mary went to the Temple to be purified after giving birth to her firstborn. We read about this day in the Second Chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke (verses 22-39) which was one of our Scripture readings yesterday in the English Standard Version (ESV):

Jesus Presented at the Temple

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,    according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

Here's a wonderful explanation of the Holy Day of Candlemas from Project Britain: Candlemas Day.

Pope John Paul II gave this wisdom in one of his homilies: 

"Be light and comfort to everyone you meet. Like lighted candles, burn with the love of Christ. Spend yourselves for him, spreading the Gospel of his love everywhere. Through your witness the eyes of many men and women of our time will also be able to see the salvation prepared by God 'in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.'" 

And here is the Collect for The Presentation of Christ in the Temple from The Book of Common Prayer 2011:

ALMIGHTY and ever-living God, we ask that, as your eternal Son was presented in the temple, we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord; Who lives and rules with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (References: Luke 2.23-30; Galatians 4.4; Psalm 24.3-4; Revelation 1.6)

So have a wonderful 5th Week After Epiphany as we approach the pre-Lenten season!

Soli Deo Gloria,

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