Comments: The Meeting: When Law encounters Spirit

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple is designated a Principal Feast in Common Worship. The reason is that, like Janus, it looks two ways: back though the Epiphany season to Christmas, the feast is the culmination of the incarnation; forward to Lent and Holy Week, the feast expresses the sentiments Simeon expressed to our Lady.

Not all users of candles were inspired by 'earlier Roman practice'. Many invoked a particular reading of 'Sarum' practice, much disparaged as 'British Museum religion' and promoted by Percy Dearmer.

Posted by Liam Beadle at Thursday, 30 January 2014 at 7:11pm GMT

In English-speaking Canada, it's largely celebrated as Groundhog Day.

In Acadian tradition, Candlemas is known as Chandeleur. A few days before it, someone would dress up in ribbons, and carry a long cane, and lead a group of people from house to house in search of food donations for the coming party. (The Cajuns inherited the custom, doing this at Mardi Gras to make a gumbo.) When you gave food, the group would perform a dance called the "Escaouette." This going from house to house was called "running the Candlemas" ("courir la Chandeleur".) On Candlemas Day, after the Church celebration with a procession of lighted candles, in the evening, in a place such as a Church or community hall, there would be a communal supper made with the donated food, then singing and dancing. The Candlemas supper and dance still continue, even if most people don't make it to Church earlier that day.

Posted by Randal Oulton at Thursday, 30 January 2014 at 8:35pm GMT

First off, many many thanks to Randal Oulton for his comment. It makes the heart I inherited from my Michaud ancestors sing with joy, à la chandeleur l'hiver cesse, ...j'espére. Presentation is the date upon which I joined the Anglican Communion in 1975 when I was 21. The Hebrew scripture for the day from Malachi remains a light in times of darkness. Its not so much about candles as it is about justice; Where is the God of Justice, one might add, in the church?

Posted by Rod Gillis at Friday, 31 January 2014 at 1:21am GMT

Thank you, Christina. A very good outline of what the Church has to celebrate at Candelmass. This is why the Church must always be a force for light and not darkness; and why the Gospel is always Good News and not bad.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 31 January 2014 at 10:19am GMT
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