Candlemas

Candlemas
February 2nd is Candlemas.  It is also known as The Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary because both events occurred the same Day – 40 days after the Nativity of Christ.
 
Aesthetically and theologically Candlemas is a beautiful day for many reasons:

 1. Light! We celebrate three ‘festivals of light’ during the darkest time of year. The first two are Nativity and Epiphany.  Candlemas brings to a close the focus on the revealing of Jesus in His infancy.

 2.  Candles. To celebrate the light, since the 4th century (300s), special candles are lit during communion services that day and all the parish Church candles are blessed (set apart) to remind us of this day.  world.

 3. February second is the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It was once called Cross Day because it was the day we cross from Winter to Spring (or Summer to Fall in the Southern Hemisphere.)

 4. The Lord Jesus is presented by Joseph and Mary to the Temple and a godly priest named Simeon is the one who sees Him. His prophetic words are a beautiful song we call the Nunc Dimittus which we sing during Evening Prayer.

Painting: Presentation of Christ at the Temple, Hans Holbein the Elder 

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