Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Today, February 2nd, is Candlemas. It is the feast of the presentation of Christ in the Temple when Simeon, who had been told by God that he would see the Messiah before he died, recognised the baby Jesus as the Light of the world and proclaimed him as such. Anna, an elderly widow, also got to meet the saviour of the world. How amazing it must be to be so touch with the Holy Spirit to recognise God in a tiny baby, one of countless passing through the Temple each day, and to speak out with fearless confidence.

"The wisdom of age, the years of stuggling and hurting and loving, the presenting of themselves regularly in the communal round of worship, the prayers of a lifetime - these are the experiences that enable Simeon and Anna to recognise God in Jesus and to have confidence in the safety and vulnerability of God's love."

Candlemas takes its name from the blessing of candles on this day for use in church throughout the coming year. To celebrate this, we made our own candles at home.

It was felt by the housewife of long ago that by 2nd February she shouldn't need to get up by candlelight any longer and that in the evening, supper would be had by firelight and the family would go early to bed. Wise time-keeping perhaps?
Candlemas day is also Groundhog Day and there is an old belief that hibernating animals would come out today to see if it is still winter. If they see their own shadows, because it is a sunny day, they will be scared and retreat: winter would continue. A cloudy day will not cause them to be frightened and there will be an early spring. Today has been overcast and there have been no shadows so hopefully all those sleepy badgers and hedgehogs have declared an end to winter's darkness and are ready for spring. I, for one, would certainly welcome the light after a gloomy few weeks.

1 comment:

Jean N. said...

Haven't visited your blog in a while, so it's great to 'see' you again via your posts.
I guess this must be the origin of our Groundhog day over here? I don't remember ever hearing the explanation of the shadow scaring them back into hibernation (meaning more winter to come), but that makes sense. Thanks for enlightening me!