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Candle Mas Day-History And Celebration

Candlemas Day holds a significant place in the feasts celebrated in Christianity. It is celebrated on February 2nd very year and is one of the Twelve Great Feasts observed in Christianity. Candlemas Day is celebrated in comemoration of an early episode in the life of Jesus Christ, an episode in the Bible. It is celebrated forty days after the birth of Jesus Christ.

History

As recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Mary and Joseph took infant Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem for the ritual purification of Mary owing to child birth and in order to perform the redemption of the first born, conforming to the Law Of Mosses.

As per the Bible episode, in the temple, the couple encountered Simeon, who was not to see death before he saw Christ. Simeon thus prayed, “Now you are releasing your servant, Master, according to your word, in peace; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all peoples; a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel"-( Luke 2:29-32).

Simeon also prophesied to Virgin Mary thus : "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" -(Luke 2:34-35).

Celebration

Candlemas Day, according to theWestern tradition of Christianity, refers to an episode , wherein a priest blessed some Candles for using them throughout the day, by distributing them to those who had faith.
Roman Catholics refer to Candlemas Day as Feast of Presentation of the Lord, with references to the candles and comemorating the prophesy of Simeon.

The swadeling clothes of Jesus Christ worn during the presentation are still treasured in Dubrovnik Cathedral, Croatia.

According to Eastern tradition combines the Great Feast of the Lord and the Feast of the Theotokos (Mother of God) It is observed by following forefeast of one day and afterfeast of seven days. However if the feast happens to fall during the Great Lent, the afterfeast is shortened or not abserved.

An All-Night Vigil is observed on the eve of the feast, and a celebration of the Divine Liturgy when the day dawns on which beeswax candles are blessed.

Four prayers are read out by the priest. During the fifth the assembled bow their heads before God. The candles are then blessed and distributed to people, after which the Liturgy begins.

So Candlemas Day simply brings to mind an episode from the life of Jesus Christ, the One who illumined and redeemed the minds of the woe begotten.

Story first published: Wednesday, February 2, 2011, 17:38 [IST]