The Feast of the Presentation

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The Feast of the Presentation

Posted by: CDFWarrington on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at 1:43PM

Candlemas is a Christian holiday celebrated on February 2nd, 40 days after Christmas. It marks the presentation of Jesus at the temple and the purification of Mary, as outlined in the Gospel of Luke 2:22–40.

Jesus Presented at the Temple
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 ... [v. 23-24] 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. 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. 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, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
    according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
    that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. ... [v. 34-38]

The Return to Nazareth
And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

The tradition of Candlemas dates back to the 4th century and is still observed in many parts of the world. It is also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In some Christian communities, candles are lit during Candlemas to symbolize Christ, the "Light of the World." In some denominations, a priest may bless these candles during a special mass or service.

In addition to its religious significance, Candlemas has also been associated with various cultural traditions. In some countries, it is a time to predict the weather for the rest of the winter, much like the tradition of Groundhogs Day in the United States. For example, if the temperature on Candlemas day is sunny, it is believed there will be six more weeks of winter. Another popular Candlemas tradition is the making of pancakes. In the UK, it is known as Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday, and people make pancakes to use rich ingredients in their homes before the start of the season of Lent.

Candlemas is a significant holiday in the Christian calendar, and its traditions continue to be observed and celebrated worldwide.