Tuesday, February 2, 2021


Today is Candlemas. "You are the light of the world!"

From: https://nationaltoday.com/candlemas-day/

On Candlemas Day, February 2, followers of Jesus celebrate his Presentation at the Temple and the Virgin Mary being purified, with many of the faithful bringing candles to their churches to be blessed. Thereafter (in Poland, for example, where they’re lit and placed in windows to ward off storms), the candles represent Jesus and the day of his induction into Judaism, and they go toward explaining the name of the holy day, Candlemas.


Among the many holy feasts in the Christian calendar, the Feast of the Presentation, or the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, on Candlemas Day is one of the oldest, celebrated since the 4th century A.D. in Jerusalem. A woman of that time, Egeria, who’s credited with writing a detailed account of an extended pilgrimage to the Holy Land, described the Candlemas celebrations there:

“…all things are done in order with great joy, just as at Easter. All the priests preach, and also the bishop, always treating of that passage of the Gospel where, on the fortieth day, Joseph and Mary brought the Lord into the Temple, and Simeon and Anna the prophetess, the daughter of Famuhel, saw Him, and of the words which they said when they saw the Lord, and of the offerings which the parents presented.”

In the 6th century, around 541 A.D., responding to a horrible plague that had struck Constantinople, Emperor Justinian I ordered huge prayer processions throughout the city during the Feast of the Presentation to ask God for deliverance from the evil of the disease. At this time, the tradition of holding blessed candles in reverence had long been in place, and after the plague passed, the regular celebration of Candlemas spread throughout the Roman Empire.

There are as many additional traditions and various guidelines for the observance of Candlemas as there are different sects and denominations of Christianity itself. Even instances of historical importance are sometimes contested and argued. At the base of it, a person of faith can turn to the relevant Bible verse, Luke 2:22-24. That passage describes how Mary and Jesus follow the rule in Leviticus that says an infant boy should be circumcised on the eighth day after birth, and that, thirty-three days later, the mother is considered “clean” and should burn an offering at the boy’s presentation at the temple on that 40th day.

Today, you might think the word “Candlemas” sounds antiquated, a reference to something like a scene from “Oliver Twist” or an old black-and-white movie. But to faithful Christians even now, Candlemas is a solemn and worshipful time, a time to try to be “a light in the world.”

Read more at: https://nationaltoday.com/candlemas-day/

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