Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Happy Candlemas!!

PhotobucketToday is Candlemas Day--the day when all the candles used for the upcoming year are traditionally blessed. Candlemas marks the day when winter is halfway over. We are now midway between the shortest day of the year and the Spring Equinox. For those of us who think that having a Christmas season that lasts until January 6 is a long time, there are some cultures who celebrate it until Candlemas!

Candlemas is also the origin of Groundhog Day. Here is the nursery rhyme that we still follow (albeit in a more secular context) today:

PhotobucketIf Candlemas day (2 February) be dry and fair
The half o' winters to come and mair
If Candlemas day be wet and foul
The half o' winter's gane at Yule.

Here is a more modern version:

If Candlemas day be bright and fair,
There’ll be two winters in a year.
If Candlemas be fair & bright,
winter will have another flight.

On the church calendar it is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Jesus in the Temple, also known as the Purification of Mary. On this day, Jesus was circumcised in the temple and given His Name, and Mary, as a new mother, went through the ritual of purification. It is also when the prophet Simeon and Prophetess, Anna recognized that the Baby in Mary' arms was indeed the promised Christ Child.  Simeon also prophesied that "a sword will pierce your (Mary's) soul," which is the origin of many works of art of the Sorrowful Mother.

Christ, be our Light! 


Marilena said...

i was born on the 3rd of february:D feast of saint blaise. i'll be 44 tomorrow! :D

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Lovely post

Dymphna said...

Happy Birthday, Marilena!!

Marilena said...

mm!! oh delicious!! just drinking a cup of vanilla tea! mmmm! its delicious! (even had to post that on my blog!) ty for birthday greetigs!

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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