The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, is celebrated in the Church each February 2nd. It is a tradition on this Feast Day to have candles blessed, symbolizing Christ; the Light of the World. We celebrate the Presentation in remembrance of the rite of purification and dedication of Jesus at the Temple, by Joseph and Mary, 40 days after his birth. At the Presentation, Simeon proclaimed Jesus as the Christ – “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” We faithful reflect on the Light of Christ through the tradition of having candles blessed at Mass, which we will then use throughout the year, at a special Mass called Candlemas.
Those in consecrated life are especially called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all, and in 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life to be celebrated on the Feast of the Presentation. In parishes, the celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the Sunday following the February 2nd Feast Day, in order to highlight the gift of consecrated life with the whole Church. Please pray for all those in consecrated life, especially our friars of Our Lady of the Angels Province, for the strength to continue to be inspired by Jesus Christ and to always respond generously to God’s gift of VOCATION.
Special Masses will be celebrated throughout our province, on February 2nd and on the weekend of February 6&7, including Noon Mass on Tuesday, February 2nd, in our Chapel at The Shrine of St. Anthony (Ellicott City, MD). Uniquely, The Shrine also has an on-site gift shop where candles will be for sale prior to Mass. Bad weather is predicted for the area. The shop is fully stocked now, so it may be a good idea to purchase your candles early. Be sure to call ahead before you come to Mass, if the weather is questionable. The St. Anthony Shop is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and can be reached by calling 410-531-2800.
Almighty ever-living God,
we humbly implore Your majesty that,
just as Your Only Begotten Son was presented
on this day in the Temple in the substance of our flesh,
so, by Your grace,
we may be presented to You with minds made pure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.