The Feast of the Presentation (aka Candlemas)

Menologion of BasilToday we celebrated that we are mid-way through winter – spring is on its way!!

Candlemas is a traditional Christian festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus. On this day, Christians remember the presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple. Forty days after the birth of a Jewish boy, it was the custom to take him to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God by his thankful parents.

It was the day of the year when all the candles, that were used in the church during the coming year, were brought into church and a blessing was said over them – so it was the Festival Day (or ‘mass’) of the Candles. ~Project Britain

As it was a feast day, I chose to attend the Evensong service rather than my usual 11:15 service because I knew that the music would be beautiful to celebrate this day, and I was not disappointed.  One of the things I love the most about my church is how amazing the choir is, and how intellectual the music selection is.  The primary music for this service was G.P. da Palestrina’s Missa Brevis.  It was so peaceful and lovely, and the candlelight made the entire experience feel like a lovely winter reprieve, especially after all the craziness that happened in Atlanta this week.  See below for a YouTube playlist of the Missa Brevis.

I truly resonated with this week’s collect: Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.