Forty Days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph brought the infant king to the temple, according to the Law of Moses. On February 2 the church celebrates this occasion as The Feast of the Presentation of Christ Temple (or "Candlemas"). It one of the most ancient of the Church's feasts. The occasion is recorded in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2:
When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” (Luke 2:22-24)
The chapter continues to tell of the elder Simeon and the prophetess Anna as they praise God for the arrival of the Christ-child. This is one of the oldest feasts of the church, having been celebrated since at least the early 4th century.
Candlemas is also a festival of light. The day is traditionally observed by the blessing of candles (hence "Candlemas"), recalling Simeon's reference to the infant Jesus as the "light for revelation to the Gentiles." During the liturgy there will be an opportunity for those who have brought candles from home to have them blessed.
Join us in the prayer chapel at 6pm on Thursday, February 2, for worship, holy communion, and the blessing of candles. All are encouraged to bring a candle from your home to be blessed.
*Note: there will be no service of Evensong on this day. *