Join us in commemorating the presentation of Jesus and the purification of Mary in the Jerusalem Temple, and bring your candles to be blessed!
Sunday, February 2
The Christ Church Singers will celebrate Candlemas with Ayleward’s responses, the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis from Brewer’s Evening Service in D, Byrd’s Hodie beata virgo, and seasonal hymns.
The Feast of the Presentation is celebrated forty days after Jesus’ birth (Christmas). According to the account found in Luke 2:22-39, the presentation of Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem was the occasion of his meeting Simeon, an old man to whom it was promised that he would not see death before beholding the Messiah. Simeon’s prayer of blessing forms the canticle Nunc dimittis, which is said or sung daily at Evening Prayer.
Celebration of the Presentation dates from the fourth century in Jerusalem, and it was introduced in Rome in the seventh century, where it included a procession with candles and the singing of the Nunc dimittis. The celebration came to include the lighting and blessing of candles which were carried in procession, and thus came to be known as “Candlemas.”
As is traditional, we will bless not only the altar candles for the church, but also the private candles of anyone who wishes to bring them. Please place them on the St. John’s Altar before the service, as Evensong will conclude with a procession and blessing of the candles. We hope to see you there.