Candlemas – feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Fabruary 2nd is the day many Catholics will attend Candlemas celebrations, and bless the candles of the Church, while singing to the Savior and Blessed Mother. Many Christians consider Jesus as the “light of the world” so it is fitting that candles are blessed on this day and that a candle-lit procession precedes the mass.

This is the day Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the Temple 40 days after His birth, according to the Mosaic Law. He was presented with a sacrifice, and Mary followed the prescribed practice of seeking ritual cleansing (Leviticus 12:2-12).

Candlemas primarily focuses on Jesus’ early life. Many Christians believe that Jesus’ mother Mary presented him to God at the Temple in Jerusalem after observing the traditional 40-day period of purification (of mothers) following his birth. According to a New Testament gospel, a Jewish man named Simeon held the baby in his arms and said that he would be a light for the Gentiles (Luke 2:32). It is for this reason that this event is called Candlemas.

According to some sources, Christians began Candlemas in Jerusalem as early as the fourth century and the lighting of candles began in the fifth century. Other sources say that Candlemas was observed by blessing candles since the 11th century. An early writing dating back to around 380 CE mentioned that a feast of the Presentation occurred in a church in Jerusalem. It was observed on February 14. The feast was observed on February 2 in regions where Christ's birth was celebrated on December 25.

Candlemas is known as the “Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple” in many eastern churches. Other traditional names in the western churches include the “Feast for the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary” as well as the “Meeting of the Lord”.

There is nothing like experiencing feast of ‘The Presentation of the Lord’ in the holy land. Celebrating one of the great events of Jesus’ life at the sites where they occurred is a moving and unforgettable experience of faith for all believers.