Sunday, 2 February 2014

Candlemas - Do what?

believe it or not that was the response I got from an extremely long-term church member this week when I mentioned 'Candlemas' - forty days have passed since Christmas and marks the day when Jesus was presented by Mary and Joseph in the Temple (in fulfilment of the Leviticus 12.1-8 instructions) and this is where Simeon and his missus bump into the babe, giving us the Nunc dimittis (Luke 2.29-32):

Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, 
In peace, according to Thy word: 
For mine own eyes hath seen Thy salvation, 
Which Thou hast prepared in the sight of all the peoples, 
A light to reveal Thee to the nations 
And the glory of Thy people Israel.

Mary gets told her heart would be pierced (as will be the child she bore) and the game is on.

The collect for today sums it all up really:

Almighty and ever-living God,

clothed in majesty,
whose beloved Son was this day presented in the Temple,
in substance of our flesh:
grant that we may be presented to you
with pure and clean hearts,
by your Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Here's a wonderful setting of the nunc to give you space to reflect on the prayer above.

I struggle to understand how someone who has been in church for over forty years can think that Candlemas is 'one of those new services' - but then again, ears are for keeping glasses on, not listening.

Aren't they?


Rev R Marszalek said...

How funny - just proves an old thing really can become a new thing for many people - how encouraging.

Soup D said...

She wasn't his missus - tut, tut!