Another name for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord is Candlemas Day. Jesus was taken to the temple by Mary and Joseph. Forty days after His birth to undergo the Torah-mandated rituals of dedication and cleansing. When a woman gave birth to a male child, she was regarded as “unclean” for seven days, according Leviticus (12:1-4). The young youngster had his circumcision on the eighth day. For 33 days, the mother stayed at home while her blood was being cleansed. Following the 40-day period, the mother and father visited the temple to complete the purification ritual. This entailed presenting a sacrifice, which comprised a sin offering of a pigeon or turtledove. In the case of a poor couple who could not afford a lamb, two pigeons or two turtledoves. Take note that Mary and Joseph made the offering for the needy.
Additionally, according to the Torah, Joseph and Mary were required to “redeem” their first-born child. “The Lord spoke to Moses and said. ‘Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the I own every womb among the Israelites, whether it be human or animal. The parents gave the priest five shekels as payment for such a redemption.
This “redemption” served as a sort of compensation for the Passover sacrifice, which had set the Jews free from captivity.
To the contrary, St. Luke focuses on the presentation of Our Lord in the Gospel rather than its redemption. “When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought Him up to Jerusalem. So that He might be presented to the Lord, for it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord”.” So Jesus’ dedication to God is the main subject of discussion. The word “present” (paristanai), which also means “offer,”. Conjures up the image of Jesus being presented as the priest who will offer Himself as the ideal sacrifice to set us free from the bonds of sin. Sanctify the new and eternal covenant with His blood, and unlock the doors to the real promised land of heaven.
Candlemas Day History
Simeon, a good and holy man who anticipated the Messiah and searched for Israel’s solace. Was moved to visit the temple. Saying, “Now, Master, you can release your servant in peace; you have fulfilled your word,”. Joseph bowed before God while holding the infant Jesus in his arms. Because I have seen your saving act, which was shown for everyone to see as a “revealing light to the Gentiles. The glory of your people Israel,” with my own eyes (Lk 2:29-32). Simeon therefore said that the Messiah has come for all people, not just Jews and Gentiles, and not only the virtuous but also the criminal.
Then, after giving the Holy Family his blessing, he addressed Mary, saying, “This child is destined to be the downfall and rise of many in Israel. A symbol that will be opposed—and you too shall be stabbed with a sword—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be made bare” (Lk 2:34-35).
Therefore, the Presentation serves as a declaration of Christ as the Messiah, Priest, Lord, and Savior. He is the light who entered the earth to drive out sin and the shadows. Because of this, candles have historically been blessed at Mass on this day since at least the seventh century, giving rise to the title “Candlemas.”
We recall that our parents presented us in church for our baptism as we reflect on the feast of the Presentation. We were given the name “Christian” and made obedient to God. The priest gave us a lighted candle from the paschal candle and declared. “You have been illuminated by Christ. Maintain the flame of faith in your heart and always walk as a child of the light. May you meet the Lord in the celestial kingdom with all the saints when He returns (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). Therefore, everyone of us must testify about Our Lord as a light. The lighthouse that points others to Christ must be ourselves. Additionally, we must be aware that we will be “a sign that will be resisted,”. Particularly when it comes to concerns about the sanctity of human life, marriage, and the family.
This day is highlighted by two further intriguing facts. First, the feast of the Presentation formally ends the Christmas season in many Eastern European nations. Blessed John Paul II established the tradition of preserving the Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square until February 2 in response to this.
Second, farmers’ life likewise revolved around Candlemas Day. A traditional English song went like this:
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, go, Winter, and return not again. If Candlemas is sunny and brilliant, come, Winter, have another flight.
Therefore, there will be more winter if the brilliant light “overshadows” Candlemas Day’s brilliance. The end of winter is nonetheless approaching if the light of Candlemas Day shines through the gloom and blackness of the day. Protestants in America determined that Groundhog Day should take the place of Catholic Candlemas Day.