Below, please find the SPCHS February 2019 Theology Newsletter!
February 2 marks Candlemas, one of the oldest feasts in Christianity and one that has significance far beyond it being the alternative day to Twelfth Night to remove Christmas decorations. Candlemas dates back to the fifth century to commemorate Jesus being brought to the temple in Jerusalem by Mary and Joseph forty days after he was born. The presentation of Jesus in the temple, according to the Gospel of Luke, saw Jesus met by Anna and Simeon, with the latter holding Jesus aloft and calling him the “Light of the World.” However, Candlemas also marks the ritual purification of Mary, which was completed by bringing Jesus to the temple. The name “Candlemas” comes from the ritual where Christians would bring candles to mass to be blessed. As a result, many observers placed their candles in their windows at home on the night of Candlemas. This candle blessing is one of the three principle blessings of the liturgical year, the others being the blessing of palms and ashes.