Candlemas: A Note from Fr. Dale

Dear friends,
It’s been nearly forty days since we celebrated the birth of our Lord on Christmas. Now we recall the day on which he was presented in the Temple, when he was offered to the Father and shown to his people. As a sign of his coming among us, his mother was purified, as we now come to him for spiritual cleansing today. In this eucharist, we celebrate both the joy of his coming and his searching judgement, looking back to the day of his birth and forward to the coming days of his passion. 
Today’s feast has many names. In addition to the “Presentation of our Lord,” it is sometimes called the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, Candlemas, and in the Orthodox Church it has also been called The Meeting of Christ with Simeon.  The title “The Presentation” reminds us of the Jewish law (Exodus 13:2; 22:29) that every firstborn son had to be dedicated to God in memory of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt, when the firstborn sons of the Egyptians died and those of Israel were spared. 
It is traditional that candles are blessed on this day, for use throughout the rest of the year, which the name “Candlemas” indicates. These candles remind us of the words of our Lord during His sermon on the mount: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16) 
Join us on February 2 at 6:00 p.m. for a Solemn High Mass. We will pierce the dark and cold of winter with a candlelit procession from the Resurrection Chapel in the Courtyard into the Church, extolling the name of Christ remembering the words of the Gospel, “For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior… A Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.”

Fr. Dale+