Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Candelmas- Presentation of Christ in the Temple

(sorry- it's a few days late, gimme a break =D)

Presentation of Christ in the Temple-

According to the Mosaic law, a mother who had given birth to a boy was considered unclean for seven days. She was to remain thirty three days "in the blood of her purification"; for a maid-child the time which excluded the mother from sanctuary was even doubled. When the time (forty or eighty days) was over the mother was to "bring to the temple a lamb for a holocaust and a young pigeon or turtle dove for sin"; if she was not able to offer a lamb, she was to take two turtle doves or two pigeons; the priest prayed for her and so she was cleansed.

Forty days after the birth of Christ Mary went with this precept of the law, she redeemed her first-born from the temple (Numbers 18:15), and was purified by the prayer of Simeon the just.

What I think is sad, is how we have hardly any feast days that we take observance of. In the old Latin rite one would be filled with feast days, and holy days. Now, we have diminished all of those away...


Blessing of the Candles and Procession-

According to the Roman Missal, the celebrant after Terce, in stole and cope of purple color, standing at the epistle side of the altar, blesses the candles (which must be of beeswax). Having sung or recited the five orations prescribed, he sprinkles and incenses the candles. Then he distributes them to the clergy and laity, while the choir sings the canticle of Simeon, "Nunc dimittis". The antiphon "Lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuæ Israel" is repeated after every verse, according to the medieval custom of singing the antiphons. During the procession which now follows, and at which all the partakers carry lighted candles in their hands, the choir sings the antiphon "Adorna thalamum tuum, Sion". The solemn procession represents the entry of Christ, who is the Light of the World, into the Temple of Jerusalem.