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Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper


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Philippians 4:1

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Candlemas

Candles are blessed for holy uses on February 2ndThe first prayer for the Blessing of the Candles on the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, Who hast created all things out of nothing, and Who through the labor of bees at thy command hast caused this fluid to come to the perfection of wax, and Who, on this day, didst fulfill the request of the just Simeon, we humbly beseech Thee, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these candles prepared for the service of man, and for the health of their bodies and souls, whether by land or sea, through the invocation of thy holy Name, and through the intercession of blessed Mary, Ever-Virgin, whose feast is this day devoutly celebrated, and through the prayers of all thy Saints; and that from thy holy heaven, and from the seat of thy majesty, Thou wouldst hear the voice of this thy people, who desire in thy honor to bear them in their hands, and to praise and exalt Thee; and that Thou wouldst be propitious unto all who call upon Thee, whom Thou has redeemed with the precious blood of thy Son. Who with Thee and the Holy Spirit liveth in glory, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The candles to be used this year in Church are blessed today and there is also a custom of bringing beeswax candles from home to be blessed. They should be made of at least mostly beeswax. Worker bees do not mate and are considered a symbol of virginity.

Our Lady, ever virgin, needed no purification, but she did not place herself above the law, which came from God, and in in humble obedience presented herself at the temple with her Son. There they encountered Saint Simeon and Saint Anna, who recognized that the messiah had at last come.

Saint Simeon blessed God for keeping him to see this day. Speaking as a prophet, he hailed the glory of Israel: our Lord, Who was to be a light for revelation to all the nations. And he warned our Lady of bitter sorrow to follow. Recalling his words, our thoughts are turned from the joy of the Christmas season now ending to the somberness of the approaching Lenten season.

Hypapante

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