Sunday, January 26, 2014
Serving Notes for Candlemas in the Traditional Mass

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For those of us praying the Divine Office and attending frequent Mass, we recognize the importance of the Feast of Candlemas.  The spiritual focus of the season of Epiphanytide through Candlemas is essentially a continuation of Christmas and contemplation of the Divine Childhood. After Candlemas (February 2nd), the celebration of events of His young life gives way to a focus on His adult life.

The Feast of Candlemas, exactly 40 days after Christmas, commemorates Mary's obedience to the Mosaic law by submitting herself to the Temple for the ritual purification, as commanded in Leviticus.

The Feast of the Purification, is called Candlemas for the traditional blessing and distribution of candles on that day.  It is customary to bring candles from home to be blessed -- at least 51% beeswax candles that one uses for devotional purposes (candles for the family altar, Advent candles, etc.) -- so they can be lit after dusk on All Saints' Day (1 November), during the Sacrament of Unction, and during storms and times of trouble.  Nowadays, though, for those few parishes continuing this ancient observance, the parish will provide the candles.

Mass on Candlemas is typically preceded by a procession with the lighted candles and the singing of anthems. The lighted candles are held during the reading of the Gospel and from the beginning of the Canon of the Mass to Communion.

Romanitas Press has put together these Ceremonial Guides for the Feast of Candlemas in PDFs. See here.

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