Friday, 2 February 2018

Presentation of Jesus

Stained glass of the Presentation at the Baker City Cathedral, Oregon.
Today happens to be the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. It was a custom that any woman who had a brush with birth or death was considered impure for 40 days, and so the purification of that woman had to be done on the 40th day, so that she would be allowed to enter the temple once again, on a regular basis. So was the case with Mary who also presented Jesus at the temple, both for his circumcision and to be consecrated to the Lord. The feasts of the Circumcision of Jesus and the Purification of Mary were held until 1969, when Pope Blessed Paul VI removed them from the liturgical calendar. The parents had to present a pair of turtle doves if they were poor, or lambs or sheep if they happen to be wealthy. The mother frequently presented a candle also to the High Priest. And so on this day, which is also called Candlemas Day, candles to be used during the year are blessed.
Candles for burning, candles for praying,
The Paschal Candle representing the Risen Christ.
Votive candles offered by people in memory of a loved one.
Candles placed in front of statues, images and paintings of Saints.
Candles used to break the darkness, especially when a power failure kills all electricity.
Candles used aux flambeaux during the daily procession in Lourdes.
Candles used to create ambience at dinner tables.
Candles carried by altar-servers during Mass.
Candles on the altar, to emphasize the present of the Body and Blood of Jesus.

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