The Presentation of Christ in the Temple: Candlemas


Forty days after Christmas, our celebration of Jesus' incarnation culminates in the feast of The Presentation of Christ in the Temple on 2 February — the end of the Christmas cycle. It is somethimes known as Candlemas, as traditionally on this day candles—sources of light—were blessed for use throughout the year.

Forty days after his birth, in accordance with the law of Moses, Jesus' parents presented him at the temple. Ther the Simeon called him a "Light to the Gentiles" and the "Glory of Israel". We know Simon's words as the Nunc Dimittis one of the canticles of evening prayer. Simeon also spoke prophetically to Mary that Jesus would be "the cause of the rise and fall of many in Israel," revealing the secrets of many hearts.

Candlemas is a pivot in the Church's calendar; from then on our focus changes from the person of Jesus towards the work of Jesus — towards Lent and his passion and death. The crib and Advent Candles will be removed for another year.