Candlemas with Bishop Perry

Join us for the traditional feast of Candlemas on Saturday, February 2nd at 8:30 am. Candlemas, commemorates the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is also known as "The Presentation of Our Lord." This feast traditionally closes the Christmas season.

Pontifical High Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Joseph Perry. We will also have the blessing of Candles, and procession. Please bring candles from home to receive the special blessing. Blessed candles will be available for a small donation.

Candlemas Blessing of CandlesCandles are brought to church this day for a special blessing.

What is Candlemas?

The name Candlemas comes from the activities associated with the feast. It came to be known as the Candle Mass. A procession with lighted candles is the distinctive rite. Beeswax candles are to be blessed. Often your local parish will hand out candles, or you may bring your own, to be blessed before the procession. These may be saved for later use in your home.

According to Mosaic law, a mother who had given birth to a boy was considered unclean for seven days. Also, she was to remain 33 days “in the blood of her purification.” Luke tells us, quoting Exodus 13:2,12, that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem because every firstborn child was to be dedicated to the Lord. They also went to sacrifice a pair of doves or two young pigeons, showing that Mary and Joseph were poor. Once in the temple, Jesus is purified by the prayer of Simeon, in the presence of Anna the prophetess.

Simeon, upon seeing the Messiah, gave thanks to the Lord, singing a hymn now called the Nunc Dimittis:
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace, your word has been fulfilled: My own eyes have seen the salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a Light to reveal you to the nations and the Glory of your people Israel.
Simeon tells Mary, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against, (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” Simeon thus foreshadows the crucifixion and the sorrows of Mary at seeing the death of her Son.

During the procession to the church, the Nunc Dimittis is sung, with the antiphon “Lumen ad revelationem” (Luke 2:32). This procession into the church for Mass commemorates Christ’s entrance into the temple.