Candlemas


At Notre Dame Seminary on February 2nd (immediately following the conclusion of the Bible Marathon), the feast of the Presentation of the Lord has been called the most solemn Mass on the seminary calendar. Extraordinary elements of the Mass such as a candle lit procession, dark chapel, and chant add not just to the solemn occasion here at NDS, but to the antiquity of the feast universal. Processing into the chapel with lighted candles symbolizes the Christ child bringing light (life) into the world of darkness (death). The tradition of Candlemas comes from the requirement in Jewish law that the first-born son be “redeemed” by an offering (Exodus 13:2 & 13). When Jesus was presented at the Temple, Simeon was the one to receive Him, and rejoiced exceedingly for Simeon “should not see death before he has seen the Christ of the Lord” (Luke 2:26). After the celebration of Candlemas, we echoed Simeon’s rejoicing with an evening of fraternity and a scrumptious banquet.