Please join us at 9:00AM on Saturday, February 2, as we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. The blessing of candles will follow.
The Feast of Presentation of Out Lord (also commonly called the Meeting of Our Lord) is one of the 12 Great Feasts of the Church. Commemorated is the presentation of Jesus into the Temple by Mary and Joseph 40 days after Our Lord’s Nativity.
In the Gospel of St. Luke 2:22-35, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem. There he was received by the elder Simeon, who held Jesus and prayed, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.” At this Mary and Joseph marveled.
The celebration of the Meeting of the Lord in the church is not merely a historical commemoration. Inspired by the same Holy Spirit as Simeon, and led by the same Spirit into the Church of the Messiah, the members of the Church also can claim their own “meeting” with the Lord, and so also can witness that they too can “depart in peace” since their eyes have seen the salvation of God in the person of his Christ. (Fr. Thomas Hopko, The Orthodox Faith – Vol. 2)
The Feast of the Presentation is the last feast of the Nativity cycle. It has a forefeast of one day and an afterfeast of seven days. This feast is also unique among the feasts of the Church in that is simultaneously a feast of Our Lord and the Theotokos. Also customary in both Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions is to bless candles on this day, hence the name Candlemas.
Visit the Meeting of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Temple article from the Orthodox Church in America website to learn more about this Feast Day.