January 31, 2017
Join us for Mass at 12:10 pm (noon) to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Meet in the Gathering Space for blessing of candles and procession. You may bring candles from home to be blessed.
The date is 40 days after the birth of Jesus, which marks two Jewish traditions to be celebrated by the Holy Family—the ritual purification of the mother after the birth of a child (actually Catholics used to do something similar, too, a practice called “churching”) and the presentation of a male child in the temple. In the image above you can see the basket with the two turtledoves brought as an offering as part of the presentation ritual. In Catholic tradition, February 2nd is officially celebrated as the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
The second important connection is the encounter with Simeon and Anna, which fulfills the prophecy that Simeon would not die until he had seen Christ, the Savior. When Simeon encounters Jesus, he says: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” And that reference to light helps make the connection to Candlemas, which became a time when the candles to be used at church and at home were blessed—a sign of bringing the light of Christ into the world.