Friday, February 3, 2012

Candlemas - Canticle of Simeon

Last night, at the start of our mass our candles were blessed and we processed around the cathedral.  We listened to the Gospel of Luke 2: 22-40 which was enacted by pupils of the Cathedral primary school.  The Gospel describes how Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to God in the temple at Jerusalem.  We heard how Simeon gave thanks and praised God saying what we now know as the Canticle of Simeon.  The Latin name for this great canticle (song of praise) is the Nunc Dimittis and it is said or sung everyday during night prayer.

Candlemas, 2nd February also marks 40 days since Jesus' birth, before the changes to the liturgical calendar in the seventies it was the traditional end of the Christmas season.  The presentation at the temple is also remembered as the 4th joyful mystery in the rosary.