Thursday, January 29, 2009

Candlemas-Feb 2nd

The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
We can often grow impatient in this "ordinary time." We miss the anticipation of advent and excitement of Christmas. But the Gospels record for us important details of Jesus early life that we should not hurry past. The Presentation of Jesus records not only Mary and Joseph's fulfillment of Old Testament law, but in Jesus first public appearance the promise of the Cross and salvation of the Gentiles is given.
For contemplation today:
The Song of Simeon Nunc Dimittis Luke 2:29-32
Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised; For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see: A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.
Readings: Malachi 3:1-4 Hebrews 2:14-18 Luke 2:22-40 Psalm 84:1-6
History: First Celebrated in the Fourth Century
Liturgical Color: Green
Traditional Food: Crepes!

For many people worldwide, Candlemas, February 2, has a particular smell: not
just the scent of lighted candles but also the fragrance of pancakes being
cooked for family and friends.

"A Light to enlighten the nations"

The blessing and lighting of candles, thus candlemas!

Lord Jesus Christ, pour forth your blessing on these candles and sanctify
them by the light of your grace. May our hearts be illuminated by your light,
may our actions be guided by your light, so that when our lives here are
finished, we may come into the eternal presence of your redeeming light. We pray
this is the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

After lighting our candle and talking about the "light of the world," I think the kids will enjoy re-enacting the story as well. They're always pretending to be Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem so this will add another dimension to their playing and understanding.

Further ideas:

The VonTrapp's Family Tradition
A Carnival of Ideas and Reflections
Coloring Page of Simeon and Anna
A family's shadow-box dramatization
Wiki background

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.


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