Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Candlemas!

While the secular world is celebrating a silly rodent, we are marking the official end of the Christmas cycle. The Christmas tree came down yesterday and the house feels rather bare. This coming Sunday is Septuagesima Sunday, the countdown to Lent begins. So the bareness of the house is a reminder of the great fast which is soon to arrive.

Tonight, our parish celebrates Candlemas with Missa Cantata, a guest schola is coming to assist in presenting a worthy and glorious offering to the Lord. Father will bless all the candles to be used this year after which we will process outside and chant the antiphons Lumen ad revelationem gentium within which is the beautiful Nunc dimittis canticle, Adorna thalamum, and Responsum accepit. Once we enter the church, the schola will sing Obtulerunt pro eo Domino as the priest and acolytes process to the sanctuary. This chant is especially beautiful since it remembers Mary and Joseph buying a pair of turtledoves to present to the priest at the Temple for Mary's purification.

We have kept our creche set up by the baptismal font as a reminder that while the world has gone on to other pursuits, we live under a very different calendar and that our seasons are tied to the life of Christ.


Mark in Spokane said...


Thanks for this thoughtful post -- a wonderful read as I am getting reading to go to Mass today.

Candlemas strikes me as one of the most important feasts of the year that isn't a holy day of obligation. As you point out, it is a transition point between the Christmas season and Lent.

We're taking our Christmas decorations down today.

God bless, and thanks for the post!

Argent said...

The gardeners in our neighborhood are out pruning, clearing away debris. Lent will be upon us soon. I find this in-between time to be needful in preparing myself for the Great Fast.

Candlemas last night was beautiful...incandescent. ;)