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The Presentation of Our Lord, Candlemass, 2 February 2020

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The Presentation of Our Lord, 2 February 2020
Malachi 3:1-4 Psalm 84 or Psalm 24:7-10 Hebrews 2:14-18 St. Luke 2:22-40


Background: Purification, Presentation, and CandlesThe second of February is a date in the Church’s year in which two events are celebrated and a custom is enacted. The events stem from the life of Jesus, his presentation in the Temple, a ritual in which thirty-three days after the boy’s circumcision an offering of a young pigeon or dove was offered up as a sin offering. The other event is the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a practice that is documented in Leviticus 12. Added to these two celebrations is Candlemass in which liturgical Christians bring candles to their churches to have them blessed – a symbol of the light of Christ. This day also signals the end of the Christmas cycle, which is followed by additional Sundays in Ordinary Time (Sundays after the Epiphany) and then the beginning of Lent. Many Christians keep up their Christmas trees, or their Crèches…