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Epiphany IV, 2014 - Candlemass

posted Jan 29, 2014, 6:38 AM by Rochester Ordinariate   [ updated Jan 29, 2014, 6:40 AM ]
Sunday, February 2, 3pm, 

Fourth Sunday following Epiphany - Candlemas

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Sung mass according to the Ordinariate's Use of the Roman Rite

Coffee hour following


Music for the day:

Processional: 115 "Hail to the Lord who comes" (Old Hundred Twentieth)
Gradual: 153, v. 1 "Christ, whose glory fills the skies" (Ratisbon)
Offertory: 116 "O Zion, open wide thy gates" (Bedford)
Recessional: 117 "Sing of Mary, pure and lowly" (Pleading Saviour)

Readings for the day are from the Roman rite.

In Jewish law, a new born child is presented in the temple, 40 days following the birth. On that same day, the mother would be ritually purified (thus the "purification").

Saint Mary and Saint Joseph kept this law, even though, since Saint Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, she would not have had to go through ritual purification. In his gospel, Luke recounts the story (Luke 2:22-39).

 Feast of the Presentation is observed on February 2, 40 days following Christmas.

When Christ was presented in the temple, "there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel" (Luke 2:25) When Saint Mary and Saint Joseph brought Christ to the temple, Simeon embraced the Child and prayed the Canticle of Simeon: "Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel" (Luke 2:29-32).

Inspired the words of the canticle ("a light to the revelation of the Gentiles"), by the 11th century, the custom had developed in the West of blessing candles on the Feast of the Presentation. The candles were then lit, and a procession took place through the darkened church while the Canticle of Simeon was sung. Because of this, the feast also became known as Candlemas. While the procession and blessing of the candles is not often performed in the United States today, Candlemas is still an important feast in many European countries.  It will be celebrated at the St. Alban fellowship.


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