Monday, October 23, 2017 UTC

FEB 1 & 2 : THE FEAST OF THE ENCOUNTER OF OUR LORD WITH SIMEON & ANNA (CANDLEMAS)

 FEB 1: VESPERAL DIVINE LITURGY (ST. N) – 5:00 PM, GREAT VESPERS (St. C & M) – 6:30 PM; FEB 2: DIVINE LITURGY (ST. C & M) – 6:00 PM.

Today we celebrate forty days after Christmas the Feast of the Encounter of Our Lord with Simeon & Anna. The event is described in the Gospel of St. Luke (2:22-40). From the words of this Gospel, we read about the presentation of our Lord by his parents in the Temple in Jerusalem on the fortieth day from His birth & His meeting with Simeon and the prophetess, Anna. Thus, the feast emphasizes the obedience of Mary and of Jesus to the law, and that Jesus was truly a man-child born of a woman. Simeon and Anna are representatives of the people of the Old Testament who looked forward eagerly to the coming of the Messiah. Recognizing Him, they praise God. The words of the elder Simeon have become a fixed part of the service of Vespers in the Byzantine Rite, hailing the coming of the Lord as a light in darkness. This light is the light of spiritual illumination, and revelation – particularly the revelation of God’s saving plan to both the people of Israel, and the people of “the nations” outside Israel.

This feast is also known as Candlemas Day, since the blessing and procession of candles is included in today’s liturgy. The term “Candlemas” (or Candle Mass) refers to the practice whereby a priest on February 2nd blesses beeswax candles for use throughout the year, some of which were distributed to the faithful for use in the home.

Following this Holy Day we celebrate on Feb 3rd the significant saints of the Holy Day – Simeon and Anna.

 

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