The Feast of Candlemas
The Presentation of the Lord
The Story of Candlemas
Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It falls on February 2, which is traditionally the 40th day of the Christmas–Epiphany season. While it is customary for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), those in other Christian countries historically remove them on Candlemas. On Candlemas, many Christians (especially Anglicans, Methodists, Lutherans, Orthodox and Roman Catholics) also bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year.
The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple is an early episode in the life of Jesus that is celebrated by the Church on the holiday of Candlemas. It is described in the Gospel of Luke of the New Testament in the Bible. Within the account, "Luke's narration of the Presentation in the Temple combines the purification rite with the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the firstborn
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the presentation of Jesus at the temple is celebrated as one of the twelve Great Feasts, and is sometimes called Hypapante (Ὑπαπαντή, lit., "Meeting" in Greek). In Western Christianity, the traditional name for the day is Candlemas, which is also known as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord. In some liturgical churches, Vespers on the Feast of the Presentation marks the end of the Epiphany season. In the Church of England, the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple is a Principal Feast celebrated either on 2 February or on the Sunday between 28 January and 3 February. In the Catholic Church, the Presentation is the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.
In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church, the episode was also reflected in the once-prevalent custom of churching new mothers forty days after the birth of a child.
The traditional Candlemas celebrates three occasions:
The Presentation of the child Jesus,
Jesus' first entry into the temple,
and it celebrates the Virgin Mary’s purification.
Churching of Women is the ceremony wherein
a blessing is given to mothers after recovery from childbirth.
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.
This festivity officially finalizes the end of Christmas for Catholics.
Tradition also says manger scenes should not be put away until Candlemas.
Many people believe that some of Candlemas activities stem from pagan observances such as Imbolc, a Gaelic festival, or the Roman feast of Lupercalia.
Candlemas occurs at a period between the December solstice and the March equinox, so many people traditionally marked that time of the year as winters halfway point while waiting for the spring.
On Candlemas it is tradition to eat crepes or pancakes & have candles blessed.
Explaining in more detail:
February 2nd is also Groundhog Day!
A holiday originating in the United States.
According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then the spring season will arrive early, some time before the vernal equinox; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.
The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with Punxsutawney Phil.
Imbolc is also celebrated on February 2 --
This major Sabbat is associated with the
Goddess Brigid (later re-iterated as Saint Brigid).
Imbolc means 'in the belly'--
as in the year is now quickening in the Goddess's belly. She's pregnant with the new year, buds are beginning to come up, and there are signs of oncoming spring.
The days are growing longer as the young
God grows stronger, and there is hope for spring.
Imbolc is also called Candlemas, and it is a festival of light. Candles feature strongly in the celebrations of this Sabbat,
Groundhog Day is also related to Imbolc
(in other countries it is sometimes a different animal), which is about being patient for spring to come.
It's unlucky to be impatient, which is why winter will last longer if it is sunny and the animal sees its shadow.
On Candlemas Christian priests bless the candles whose light symbolized
the light of Christ and therefore warded off evil. Candles are then used as torches
and taken back home in order to protect the hearth & home.
Candlemas Day became associated with purity and the Virgin.
Pancakes' round shape is indeed reminiscent of the sun, and therefore of
the return of the daylight after the long winter months, the vital light allowing
for the first sowing of the year.
"four pillars of the Christian faith—
eggs: for the creation
flour: as the mainstay of the human diet, the staff of life
salt: for wholesomeness
milk: for purity
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups blueberries
2 tablespoons water
½ cup of sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 425F
Mix all ingredients in a blender: eggs, milk, flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest, and vanilla paste to the blender.
Heat pan in the oven until hot.
Place butter in the pan and melt, try not to brown the butter.
Pour batter into the hot pan, and place in oven.
Cook for 15-20 minutes until it is golden brown and puffed up.
Remove from oven and top with blueberry sauce and powdered sugar.
To make the sauce, mix all sauce ingredients in a sauce pot and cook on the stove. Cook & stir until the sugar is melted.
Saint Brigid's conversion from paganism, from
the “Triple Goddess” with her fires, inspiration, and forge to...
Saint Brigid's belief in Christianity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The perfect recipe for your Candlemas would be Brigid's Trinity Bread!
Serve this tasty bread with warm butter for dipping.
Brigid's Trinity Bread!
1 ½ cup – warm milk
1 tbsp. – active dry yeast
1 ¼ cup – granulated sugar
4 eggs – room temperature
1 stick – unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
½ tsp. – salt
1 tsp. – vanilla extract
6 cups – all-purpose flour
2 cups – yellow raisins
1 egg and 1 tbsp. milk for egg glaze
Place 2 cups of raisins into a bowl. Pour boiling water until the water covers the raisins.
Let it soak for 15 minutes. Then drain the water and rinse the raisins. Set aside until ready for use.
Heat milk in a small saucepan to just barely warm over a stove top burner on high temp
(for about a minute). Transfer the milk into a small glass bowl.
Add ¼ cup of sugar and stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
Sprinkle yeast over milk, stir it in, and set it aside in a warm place to proof for 15 minutes.
Melt butter in a cup for 30 seconds, and set it aside to cool.
In the electric mixer bowl, beat eggs and 1 cup of sugar on high, for 10 minutes.
Reduce speed to low and mix in the yeast mixture.
Continue mixing on low while adding salt and vanilla extract.
Add melted butter, continue to mix.
Add raisins. Switch to dough hook attachment.
Sift flour and add 1 cup at a time until all 6 cups of flour are incorporated. (It takes about 15 minutes for the dough to form well.)
Transfer the dough onto a working surface (large cutting board) dusted with flour.
Coat the dough with flour. Place it into a large bowl dusted with a little more flour and let it rise in a warm environment for 2 hours.
After the dough has tripled in size, transfer it from the bowl back to your floured working surface (cutting board) and roll it into a thick log. Split the log into two equal pieces.
Take one half of the dough and roll into a log again. Split it into four equal pieces.
Roll each of the four smaller pieces into thin, long logs (about 1.5 foot long and 1 inch thick).
Pinch the ends of all four thin logs together.
Braid them into a nice and even braid.
Pinch the opposite end of the braided loaf together, then place on a greased pan. Make the egg glaze and rub it over the top of the loaf. Repeat the same steps with the other half of the dough. Let the braided loaves rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour. It will expand nicely and close the gaps.
Heat the oven to 350 F. Bake each loaf separately for 25 minutes. (The loaf and the pan are too large to fit both into one oven. If you have double ovens, as I do, bake them one in each oven, at the same time.) Remove from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. I like to line the pans with parchment paper for baking; it's easier to remove the bread from the paper than the pans. After they're finished baking, the egg glaze runs down the loaf and gets stuck to the pan pretty firmly. Parchment paper goes a long way to alleviate that headache.
Lastly, it's now time to enjoy the delicious bread with a little butter spread and some tea or a cup of coffee!
Songs of Worship:
This Little Light of Mine! I'm Going To Let it Shine!
The blessing of candles which are carried in a procession honoring Christ,
'the light to enlighten the Gentiles' (Luke 2: 32)
Book of the Day!