Carmel Bulletin, 9 February 2014
Last Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It is celebrated each year on 2 February, so it only occasionally falls on a Sunday.
As we arrived at Mass last Sunday, we were invited to take a candle as we entered the church. Mass then began with the blessing of these candles, a tradition that has been part of the Mass for the Presentation of the Lord since the eleventh century.
In the Gospel of the day, Simeon declares:
Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel. (Lk 2:29-32, NRSV)
It is this that the candles on this day symbolise. Furthermore, this scripture excerpt, the Canticle of Simeon, is a daily part of the Night Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours (also known as the Divine Office). We pray that the light of Christ fills our own hearts, and that we will one day experience the light of Christ in all its fullness.