Are you the sort of family that finds it hard to let go of Christmas? Well, you’re in luck, because the Church circles back around to Christmas one last time at the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Here are five simple ways to celebrate.
About the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
The Presentation of our Lord, also known as Candlemas, celebrates the ritual presentation of the infant Jesus in the Jerusalem temple in fulfillment of the law, which required first-born sons to be dedicated to the Lord.
In Luke’s account, Jesus was welcomed by two elderly prophets, Simeon and the widow Anna. They embody Israel in their patient expectation, and acknowledge the infant Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. The readings for the day include the Canticle of Simeon, part of which inspired the tradition of blessing candles on the feast day: “. . . my eyes have seen your salvation, / which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: / a light for revelation to the Gentiles, / and glory for your people Israel.”
Ways to Celebrate
Here are some simple ways to celebrate the feast day:
- Read the Scripture readings for the day, and discuss how the Old Testament reading ties in with the Gospel reading. (Find the readings here.)
- Pray the Canticle of Simeon during your family prayer.
- Light some candles during your evening meal.
- Make crepes, a traditional Candlemas food, or edible candles; both recipes can be found at CatholicCuisine.com.
- If you haven’t taken down your Christmas things, now is the latest traditional day to do so. Really…it’s time.