The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

 In Living the Liturgy

Image from: Word on Fire
According to the Law of Moses (Exodus 13:2), 
every firstborn shall be consecrated to Godthose who opens the womb of a mother belongs to God. This was the reference in the Old Testament on why Mary and Joseph took child Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to God, 40 days after His birth. 

Tradition says that this feast, commemorating the Lord Jesus’ entry into God’s Temple for the first time, originating in 4th century Jerusalem, came to be celebrated in Rome by the middle of the 5th century, is also known as the Feast of Meeting and/or Candlemas day. It was also a custom that this feast marks the end of Christmas celebration. 

It was called the Feast of Meeting, because primarily, it wathe meeting of the child Jesus with God, whose house He had come to for the first time. He also met with Simeon and Anna. It was revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Christ, the Messiah, the child Jesus. Likewise, Anna, who never left the temple and worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer, who was in advance years, awaited the redemption of Jerusalem. This was the day that the prophecy was fulfilled and they both seen the Savior. 

It is also called Candlemas day in honor of Christ Jesus aa light to reveal to all nations (Luke 2:32), and so, on this day, we solemnly bless candles and process it in at the beginning of the Mass. These candles are used for our altar at home.  

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