Friday, February 02, 2018


Presentation of Jesus at the Temple by Fra Angelico

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, 
they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord. (Luke 2:22 KJV)

Candlemas is an old Christian celebration of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. American churches generally ignore this and people focus on that groundhog. But there are suitable musical selections for the day, including Maria wallt zum Heiligtum (And to the Temple Mary Went) by Johannes Eccard (1553–1611):

and In Peace and Joy I Now Depart by Martin Luther:

The Nunc dimittis (Song of Simeon)

Simeon’s Song of Praise, by Rembrandt
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
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;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
And Joseph and Mary marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. (Luke 2:25-40)


  1. We celebrate 40 days after christmas this day as well here- we call it " Maria Lichtmess" in Latin it is called "Praesentatio Jesu in Templo".
    I am creedless but I like some of the religious rituals - unfortunately the Martin Luther video isn't to see in my country ....
    I like the Song of St. Simeon - thank you for sharing!
    Happy weekend!
    oxo Susi

    1. Most churches here don't observe this, but the more liturgical churches still do. I like the idea of blessing candles even though I've never been in a congregation that did that. Maybe this text site with just the audio and printed words will work for the Luther hymn:

  2. I think this is a MUCH better post than one that would be for the groundhog. I would rather view blessing the candles, because it sounds more humane and joyful to me. I don't live in Pennsylvania, but I bet my groundhog saw his shadow today.

    1. I read somewhere that the groundhog is right 39% of the time lol I vote we retire that groundhog ;)

  3. I've never been to a Candlemas service, the idea of blessing candles brought to mind a service I remember from my youth. Forgive me if I don't get all the details correct it's been almost fifty years. My family went to Catholic church at the time and the had a ST. Blaze day service that coincided with Ash Wednesday.The ash Wednesday part was the usual cross on the forehead made from ashes. The St.Blaze part had to do with blessing throats to prevent choking by crossing to large candles approximately 2 inches in diameter and two- three feet long that were specially blessed. The priest crossed them like an x and placed them around each persons neck saying a short blessing. Only ever heard of that service being done that one time.

    1. I've never been to a blessing of throats, but I've read about them and they seem to be still a thing in some denominations. . You'd think in these years when the flu is so bad, some of the rest of us would adopt it. It certainly couldn't hurt.