Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

2 February – Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – This is known as a “Christmas feast” since it points back to the Solemnity of Christmas.    Many Catholics practice the tradition of keeping out the Nativity creche or other Christmas decorations until this feast.   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. 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 (Luke 2:23-24).”

bellinipresentation
Bellini

At the end of the fourth century, a woman named Etheria made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Her journal, discovered in 1887, gives an unprecedented glimpse of liturgical life there. Among the celebrations she describes is the Epiphany, the observance of Christ’s birth, and the gala procession in honor of his Presentation in the Temple 40 days later. (Under the Mosaic Law, a woman was ritually “unclean” for 40 days after childbirth, when she was to present herself to the priests and offer sacrifice—her “purification.” Contact with anyone who had brushed against mystery—birth or death—excluded a person from Jewish worship.) This feast emphasizes Jesus’ first appearance in the Temple more than Mary’s purification.

brooklyn_museum_-_the_presentation_of_jesus_in_the_temple_la_presentation_de_jesus_au_temple_-_james_tissot_-_overall

James Tissot, The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

The observance spread throughout the Western Church in the fifth and sixth centuries. Because the Church in the West celebrated Jesus’ birth on December 25, the Presentation was moved to February 2, 40 days after Christmas.

At the beginning of the eighth century, Pope Sergius inaugurated a candlelight procession; at the end of the same century the blessing and distribution of candles which continues to this day became part of the celebration, giving the feast its popular name: Candlemas.

bellini-s-presentation-of-jesus-in-the-temple_photodisplay
Bellini

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Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

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