Candlemas, or the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, has always been one of my favorite “Lesser Feasts” in the Church Year. In addition to blessing the candles used in the upcoming year, we celebrate the wider message of Christianity “enlightening” the world with its light and warmth.
The Nunc Dimittis, or Canticle of Simeon, taken from Luke 2: 29-32 is typically recited this day.
Now, Lord, 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.
(Common Worship, 2000)
As we celebrate a groundhog seeing his shadow and bringing news of Spring today, we also celebrate the Light of the World proclaimed to all people.
Image: Simeon’s Song of Praise by Aert de Gelder, c.1700