Join us to close the Christmas Season with the traditional feast of Candlemas. Bishop Joseph Perry will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical High Mass on Tuesday, February 2nd at 7:30 pm.
After Mass, Bishop Perry will bless the stairway and basement vestibule.
“Candlemas” commemorates the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is also known as “The Presentation of Our Lord.”
You are welcome to bring candles from home to be blessed, or we will have some available for a donation. The name Candlemas comes from the activities associated with the feast. A procession with lighted candles is the distinctive rite by which this Mass is popularly known. Thus it came to be known as the Candle Mass, that is, Candlemas. This procession into the Church for the Holy Mass commemorates Christ’s entrance into the temple as well as the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, thus fulfilling the Mosaic Law. The faithful, receiving the light from the Bishop, are in a spiritual sense carrying Christ the Light of the World into the Temple. By the light of faith, we too are bearing Jesus to the Temple and then sharing the light of our faith in Him with the rest of the world. “...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 2:30-32. 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).