If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas bring clouds and rain,
Go winter, and come not again.

The Christmas tree is lying upon the brush pile, the decorations are packed away.  The wreath on the mailbox and the large one beside the front door are yet to be put away, but come rising temperatures will be taken down tomorrow…

The sole reminders of Christmas past, other than our memories, are the two nativities still prominently displayed in the living room and dining room.  Like the Trapp Family, we keep our nativities on display until after the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, also called Candlemas.

Candlemas is one of my favorite feast days.  The priest confers a blessing upon the candles and will, the following day on the Feast of St. Blase, use them for the Blessing of the Throats.

Sacramentals are so important in the life of this Catholic family.  Throughout the year, our mantle holds four brass candlesticks, each holding the blessed candles received on February 2nd.  We light them during prayer, during storms, or anytime that seems appropriate…sometimes, for no reason at all other than to bask in their blessed light…

We look forward to the celebration of this lovely Feast Day and will celebrate by reciting the following antiphon from the Feast of Candlemas until Easter:

Hail Mary, Queen in Heav’n enthroned
Hail Thou, Mistress by all angels owned!
Root of Jesse, Hail, Gate of Morn,
The world’s true light from Thee was born.
Virgin glorious, ever fairest,
Of all creatures to Him nearest.
Hail to Thee, hallowed in Heaven!
May Thy children’s guilt be forgiven.

Would you like to celebrate this delightful Feast day with your family?  Here are a few resources that may help:

Candlemas Ceremony

A recipe for Strawberry Creme Crepes.  Pancakes are traditionally served on Shrove Tuesday and Candlemas…these look delicious!

More recipes…a Feast of Pancakes!

Cardboard candlesticks…I’d probably make them white, cute for little ones!

A wealth of suggestions for parents of preschoolers!

A papier mache candlestick holder…much more advanced, suitable for older children.

Make your own beeswax candles!

A Shadow Box Show and Procession…the shadow box idea is sweet.  I think the children would really like it!

Sweet Alice has several precious ideas for a Candlemas Liturgical Tea.  Outstanding resource!

Coloring page of Simeon and Anna

Another coloring page of Simeon and Anna

Mary, Joseph and Simeon coloring page

Here’s a lovely excerpt from Around the Year With the Trapp Family, outlining the family’s approach to the Feast of Candlemas:

CANDLEMAS

All through the month of January the creche is standing in the living
room, even if the Christmas tree has been removed, and every night the
family prayers will be said beside the crib, followed by at least one
Christmas song.

When Holy Mother Church came to Rome, in the time of the Apostles, she
found that the Roman women went around town with torches and other lights
on February 1st in honor of the goddess Ceres. The Church continued the
same custom but “baptized” it: Forty days after the birth of a child the
Jewish mother had to be purified in the temple, and so we celebrate on
February 2nd the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of her little
Son in the Temple; this should be celebrated in the light of many
candles, in honor of Him of Whom the old Simeon said on that day, “He
shall illumine the Gentiles with His light and shall be the glory of the
people of Israel.” There was a special blessing for the water on Epiphany
Day, and there is a special solemn blessing for the candles on this
Candlemas Day. Besides having beautiful prayers, the Church helps us to
understand the symbolism of the light blessed on this day, so that we may
make the right use of it by the bed of the dying, during storms, and in
all perils to which may be exposed “our bodies and souls on land and on
the waters.” The five special prayers of Candlemas Day are so beautiful
and so full of meaning that they should be read aloud as evening prayer
the night before and explained by parents to their children.
ANTIPHON FOR CANDLEMAS DAY

Recite the Canticle of Simeon (Luke 2, 29-32) and repeat the Antiphon
after each verse.

A Light to the revelation of the Gentiles: and the glory of Thy people
Israel.

On Candlemas Day every family should carry home a blessed candle, which
will have a special place on the home altar and will be lit in all
moments of danger, during thunderstorms, during sickness, in time of
tribulation.

Candlemas Day is a bitter-sweet feast. While in the morning the church is
bathed in the light of hundreds of candles in the hands of the faithful,
afterwards the creche is stored again. It marks the end of the Christmas
season; and the sheep and shepherds, the Gloria angel, the ox and the
ass, Mary and Joseph with the Infant, and the whole little town of
Bethlehem are hidden away for another year. There is always a tinge of
sadness in the air, because, during these long nine weeks, the Holy
Family has become so much a part of our household that it is hard to see
them go.
HAIL MARY, QUEEN IN HEAV’N ENTHRONED

From the evening of Candlemas to Easter this Antiphon is sung instead of
“Blessed Mother of the Saviour.”

Hail Mary, Queen in Heav’n enthroned
Hail Thou, Mistress by all angels owned!
Root of Jesse, Hail, Gate of Morn,
The world’s true light from Thee was born.
Virgin glorious, ever fairest,
Of all creatures to Him nearest.
Hail to Thee, hallowed in Heaven!
May Thy children’s guilt be forgiven.

~~~Please feel free to post any ideas or suggestions you may have regarding your family’s celebration of Candlemas!~~~

Blessings,

About these ads