Candlemas, on February 2nd will fall on a Monday this year and in some churches it will include a blessing of the year’s supply of candles. Also called the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the day celebrates an early episode in the life of Jesus. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is one of the twelve Great Feasts, and is sometimes called Hypapante (lit., ‘Meeting’). Other traditional names include the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord. In many Western liturgical churches, Vespers (or Compline) on the Feast of the Presentation marks the end of the Epiphany season. In the Church of England, 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. Candles to be blessed are covered with a white cloth. The priest will wear a purple stole for the blessing of the candles with holy water and prayers. Altar hangings and vestments for this day should be white.
A prayer for Candlemas Morning
Christ your Son became man for us
and was presented in the temple.
May he free our hearts from sin
and bring us into your presence.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Christian Prayer, commonly said at Candlemas
Canticle of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)
- 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;
- To be a light to lighten the Gentiles and to be the glory of thy people Israel.