Archive for the ‘Candlemas: The Presentation of the Lord’ Category

Candlemas: The Presentation of the Lord
February 5, 2011

February 2nd is the Feast of Candlemas. It celebrates the Presentation of Christ at the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary forty days after Christmas. This is the event described in the Gospel of Luke when the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph present Jesus at the Temple and the faithful Simeon and Anna behold and recognize Jesus as the Messiah they have been waiting for.  After seeing the infant Christ he had been promised to see before death, Simeon prays the Nunc Dimittis in Luke 2:29-32:

Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised;

For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior

whom you have prepared for all the world to see,

A Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.

February 2 is traditionally the day when candles and blessed for the coming year. We used this blessing from Meredith Gould’s The Catholic Home:

Lord Jesus Christ,

Pour forth your blessing on these candles and

sanctify them by the light of your grace.

May our hearts be illuminated by your light,

May our actions be guided by your light,

so that when our lives here are finished, we may come into the ternal presence of your redeeming light.

We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

Since it’s an important day, we pulled out our china and I chose a white tablecloth to remember that Candlemas is also a remembrance of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin at the Temple. Last year we made a butternut squash polenta inspired by a Candlemas recipe in Sacred Feasts. Since we already had a beautiful butternut on hand, we decided to make it a tradition. We paired the polenta with a sausage, onion, and apple dish from another of our favorite cookbooks: Simply in Season. We used delicious local sausage from Thompson Farms.

It wasn’t my finest hour with presentation but I promise it was tasty!

We followed the meal with my Dad’s delicious pumpkin bread: