Candlemas

Joyous Feastday! Today is the feast of the Meeting of the Lord when he was brought to the Temple forty days after birth to be redeemed according to the Law of Moses, and the Theotokos for ritual purification. While they were there Symeon the Godbearer saw them, took Christ in his arms and according to tradition gave us this hymn:

Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace 
according to Thy
word,

for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation: 
which Thou hast prepared
before the face of all people. 

A light for revelation to the Gentiles, 
and to be the glory of Thy people Israel  [Luke 2:29-32]

 St. Symeon had waited many, many years, serving in the Temple to see the Messiah. He had been promised that he would not die until this happened.

From this feast we also have the tradition of the churching of women forty days after childbirth. The Theotokos of all people had no need of purification, but she humbled herself in obedience to the law.

     Troparion of the feast

Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of grace!
From thee shone the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God.
Enlightening those who sat in darkness!
Rejoice, and be glad, O righteous elder;
You accepted in your arms the Redeemer of our souls,
Who grants us the Resurrection.  

Here are a few pictures of the churching of me and Ribby in 1999. I absolutely love the part where the priest places the baby on the top step of the ambo. [We all look so young.]

 This feast is also called Candlemas since beeswax candles are blessed for use in the church and the home all year. These candles can be burned in the home as a blessing during times of sickness, trouble, depression, etc.

beeswax candles blessed this morning.

And 14 years ago today Father and I joined the Church. The best decision we ever made.

7 thoughts on “Candlemas

  1. Joyous feast! Congratulations on 14 years. (I'll be 13 years past my baptism later this month. Thanks be to God!) I love this feast, and our beautiful tradition of presenting our own children in the temple at 40 days. What a blessing to us!

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  2. Joyous Feast (a day late, I've been gone) — it's a personal Happy Day for me too. So neat to share this special day with such special people.

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  3. What a beautiful feast, all the way around. And yes, it's powerful and humbling when our children are offered to God in such a symbolic and yet oh-so-real way.

    Congratulations on your christmation anniversary. Many years!

    (another) Elizabeth

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  4. A few years back I was one of two young adult Orthodox representatives at a NCC meeting. As an ice breaker they asked us to go around the room and say when we had “found Christ”. I very honestly said “when I was 40 days old”. In response to their astonishment, I explained that my mother, like all Orthodox Christian mothers, went to church and dedicated my life to Christ when I was an infant.

    I have to say, of all the beautiful services in the Orthodox Church the 40 day blessing is one of my favorites (I'm with Mimi it always makes me cry!) Not to mention that I know from personal experience that it's a beautiful legacy that we give our children right from infancy.

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