Today, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord also called Candlemas Day. At the Carmelite Pre-Novitiate in Chicago the community celebrated the feast with the traditional blessing and procession of candles. It’s also World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.
Blessing the Candles
Dear brothers and sisters,
forty days have passed since we celebrated the joyful feast
of the Nativity of the Lord.
Today is the blessed day
when Jesus was presented in the Temple by Mary and Joseph.
Outwardly he was fulfilling the Law,
but in reality he was coming to meet his believing people.
Prompted by the Holy Spirit,
Simeon and Anna came to the Temple.
Enlightened by the same Spirit,
they recognized the Lord
and confessed him with exultation.
So let us also, gathered together by the Holy Spirit,
proceed to the house of God to encounter Christ.
There we shall find him
and recognize him in the breaking of the bread,
until he comes again, revealed in glory.
O God, source and origin of all light,
who on this day showed to the just man Simeon
the Light for revelation to the Gentiles,
we humbly ask that,
in answer to your people’s prayers,
you may be pleased to sanctify with your blessing + these candles,
which we are eager to carry in praise of your name,
so that, treading the path of virtue,
we may reach that light which never fails,
Through Christ our Lord.
Some images from the celebration at Carith House in Chicago