Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Epiphany, the Presentation (Candlemas)

My Epiphany daybook for these 5 weeks of witness. Join me, won't you? 

(Read here for a brief description of the liturgical season of Epiphany. See previous Epiphany daybook 2016 posts here)


Simeon Holds the Christ Child

Rembrandt, 1666


Psalm 84:1-4 / Luke 2:27-33, 36-38:  How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah. / Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple... (read the rest here) / And there was a prophetess, Anna...She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day...(read the rest here)

all readings for the day: Malachi 3:1-4  • Psalm 84 or Psalm 24:7-10  • Hebrews 2:14-18  • Luke 2:22-40

You are welcome, also, to read my reflection on Anna, the prophetess: Seeing Salvation by the Light of Candlemas


God of steadfast love, you sent your Son to be the light of the world, saving people everywhere from sin and death. As Anna gave thanks for the freedom he would bring, and Simeon saw in him the dawn of redemption, complete your purpose once made known in him. Make us the vessels of his light, that all the world may glory in the splendor of your peace. Amen. (source)

We give you praise with your servant Simeon:
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
Your word has been fulfilled.
My eyes have seen the salvation
You have prepared in the sight of every people,
A light to reveal you to the nations 
and the glory of your people, Israel.

Listen to a recording
 of T.S. Eliot reading A Song for Simeon

(Also, feel free to listen with me to my ever-evolving Epiphany playlist.)



Light candles, give thanks for the season of light,
pray for the Light of Christ to go out into your neighborhood and the world

February 2 is Candlemas -- also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. In Jewish custom, parents would bring their newborn children to the temple 40 days after their birth, and thus, February 2 is the closing out of the season of Light (Advent, Christmastide, Epiphanytide).

Since the 4th century, special candles are lit during communion services on Candlemas and all the parish Church candles are blessed to remind us of this season. The tradition grew and people brought their candles from home to be blessed so that now each time a candle is lit we remember the light of Christ coming into the world. (source)

February 2 is also the mid-point between winter and spring. We head toward the light of longer days, even as we head toward the dark nights of Lent.

This week, light candles each night, recall together the joys of the weeks of light since Advent began, pray for eyes to see the light of Christ in your neighborhoods and in the world.


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