Wednesday, February 02, 2022

The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Presentation of the Lord; Candlemas Day



Candlemas Day

Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple on this day. The Holy Spirit had revealed to the just and devout Simeon that he should not die before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. In the temple the old man glimpsed Jesus in Mary's arms and blessed God, knowing that at last he had seen the Savior, "a light of revelation to the Gentiles and a glory of Thy people Israel."
But only after the Savior's Passion and Crucifixion would the light win for men the final victory over bodily and spiritual death. Simeon therefore said to Mary, the co-redeemer of mankind, "Thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (Luke 2:35). May we, too, after having shared the redemptive sufferings of Christ attain the final grace of presentation in the holy temple of God's glory.



Let us pray. O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty and Eternal God who created all things out of nothing, at Your creative command this honey was transformed into wax by the industry of the bees. On this day on which You granted just Simeon his request, we invoke Your most holy name and ask You through the intercession of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary -- whose feast we reverently observe today -- and through the prayers of all Your saints, graciously to bless and sanctify these candles for the use of men, and for the health of bodies and souls of all on land and on the sea. From Your throne of majesty in heaven, hear the voices of Your people who hold these lights in their hands to honor You and praise You with song. Be merciful to all who call upon You, all those whom You have redeemed with the Precious Blood of Your Son, who lives and rules with You. Amen.
The celebrant sprinkles the candles three times with holy water and then incenses them three times. While sprinkling holy water, he says:

You shall sprinkle me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be clean; You shall wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.


The celebrant distributes the candles to the congregation, who in receiving them kiss first the candle, then the hand of the celebrant.


The deacon turns to the congregation.
V. Let us go forth in peace.
R. In the name of Christ.
V. Amen.


INTROIT Ps. 47:10-11
We have received Your kindness, O Lord, within Your temple. As Your name, O God, is known to the ends of the earth, so also shall Your praise be voiced to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is just in all things.
Ps. 47:2
. Great is the Lord, and worthy of all praise in the city of our God, upon His holy mountain.
V. Glory be . . .

Almighty and Eternal God, we humbly ask that we may be presented to You with purified souls just as Your only-begotten Son was presented this day in the temple after He had taken on the substance of our flesh. Through Our Lord . . .

LESSON Mal. 3:1-4
Thus says the Lord God: Behold I send my angel, and he shall prepare the way before my face. And presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to his temple. Behold, he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts. And who shall be able to think of the day of his coming? and who shall stand to see him? for he is like a refining fire, and like the fuller's herb: And he shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years, says the Lord almighty.

GRADUAL Ps. 47:10-11, 9
We have received Your kindness, O Lord, within Your temple. As Your name, O God, is known to the ends of the earth, so also shall Your praise be voiced to the ends of the earth.
. As we had heard, so we have seen in the city of our God, upon His holy mountain.
V. The old man bore the Child, but the Child was the old man's King; Allelúja.

The candles are held lighted during the Gospel, and from the Sanctus to the Communion.

GOSPEL Luke 2:22-32
At that time, when the days of Mary's purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: "Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord": And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons"
And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon: and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel. And the Holy Ghost was in him. And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, He also took him into his arms and blessed God and said, "Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace: Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel."

Grace is poured out upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever and for all ages.

O Lord, graciously hear our prayers and in Your mercy help us so that our offering may be worthy of Your majesty. Through Our Lord . . .

The Preface for Christmas is said.

Simeon received an answer from the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.

O Lord Our God, may this sacred rite, which You instituted to protect us in our new life of grace, bring us healing now and forever through the intercession of the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary. Through Our Lord . . .

Candlemas (russian icon)
Candlemas (russian icon) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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