Candles will be blessed at 8 and 10am mass in Bride Street Church and at 5.45pm in Rowe Street Church on the 2 February 2024
– If you have candles you want blessed please leave them labeled (with your Name) and on the table in-front of the Altar before the masses.
Forty days after the birth of Christ, Mary complied with the precept of the Mosaic law for purification after the birth of a child. She redeemed her first-born from the temple (Numbers 18:15) and was purified by the prayer of Simeon the just, in the presence of Anna the prophetess (Luke 2:22.). No doubt this event, the first solemn introduction of Christ into the house of God, was in the earliest times celebrated in the Church of Jerusalem.
Once in the temple, Jesus was 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.
On February 2nd, we celebrate the Presentation of the Lord or Candlemas. The name Candlemas comes from the activities associated with the feast. Often parishes 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. After an antiphon, during which the candles held by the people are lighted, there is a procession into the church. 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. Since Vatican II, the feast is reckoned a feast of the Lord (as opposed to a feast of Mary), and officially designated “The presentation of the Lord.”
Prayer for Candlemas Day
Lord Jesus Christ, You are the true Light enlightening every soul born into this world. Today we celebrate the feast of Candlemas. Before Holy Mass, the priest blesses the candles, whose wax is the humming summer’s work of countless bees. The flames of these candles will shed their light upon the altar at the Holy Sacrifice. Help us to realize, this day and every day, that our own humdrum daily work, if it is done for love of You, and in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, will be a supernatural work, and will shine brightly before You for all eternity. Help us realize, too, each time we see the blessed candles at Holy Mass, or at the bedside of the sick, that they are a symbol of Yourself, the Light shining in the darkness of this world. Help us to live in that Light, to make it our own, and to kindle it in the souls of others, increasing the area Of light and lessening the darkness in the World This, dear Lord, help us do, through the merits of Your own dear mother, Mary, who did everything for love of You, from the moment she brought You into this world till the day she joined You in the realms of light at her death. Then we, too, working for You, shall be light bearers who will help to spread Your kingdom on earth, and increase the number of those who dwell in heaven, the city of eternal light. Amen.
Prayer Source: Rural Life Prayerbook by Alban J. Dachauer, S.J., National Catholic Rural Life Conference, 4625 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50310 ncrlc.com, 1956.