Daily Archives: February 2, 2012

February 2: Candlemas

Today, February 2, is 40 days after Christmas. Under Jewish law, women were supposed to go to the temple for their ritual purification after childbirth, and to redeem their firstborn. Thus, today we celebrate the presentation of the baby Jesus at the temple.

This is the day that Simeon the Righteous and Anna the prophetess saw and recognized Jesus. As Simeon held Jesus, he said:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace.

For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles  and for glory to your people Israel.”

Luke 2:29-32

The day is known by many names:

  • Candlemas (because traditionally the priest will bless candles for use in worship on this day)
  • Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
  • Feast of the Purification of the Virgin
  • Meeting of the Lord
  • and many other variations on those names