Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feast of the Presentation - Candlemas

It's been exactly 40 days since Christmas, which means it's time to celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord! According to Jewish law every first born son was to be presented in the temple 40 days after his birth. Being good Jews, Mary and Joseph followed the law and did just that.

This Feast is also know as Candlemas because on this day the faithful bring candles to mass for a procession and blessing. The candles remind us that Christ is "a light for revelation" as the prophet Simeon said in the book of Luke.

This morning we each took a different colored candle with us to mass and joined in on the procession. Well, Pal was afraid of the fire, so I got to hold two candles, which was probably a good idea anyway.

Now that our candles have been blessed (and decorated with foam stickers) we will light the individual candles throughout the year when a member of the family is sick or celebrating a special day.

We also used them for a candlelight dinner tonight...

which was followed by the traditional Candlemas dessert in Europe...


After dinner we had a mini bubble party with these bubbles I found in the wedding aisle at the Dollar Tree.

The two turtledoves remind us of the two turtledoves Mary and Joseph presented as a sacrifice at the temple on this day. Someone want to make up what the bubbles represent?

You might be thinking, "Hey... today is Groundhog's Day, that's random". Well, I recently learned... it's not. Check out this old English poem...

As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and rain
Winter will be gone and not come again

It is believed that early German settlers in America added in a groundhog to help determine if the sky was fair or cloudy, making it either possible or impossible for him to see his shadow. According to Punxsutawney Phil, it's good news, spring will be here in 6 weeks. I thinks he's right about 50% of the time.

Before bed we are going pray the 4th Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, which is the Presentation of the Christ Child, to conclude the celebrations. Again, tomorrow is another feast day, the Feast of St. Blaise, so go to Mass and get your throat blessed!


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