Laudetur Iesus Christus! Tomorrow is the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, otherwise known as Candlemas. This day marks the end of the 40 day Christmas season and for those attending St. Thomas Aquinas parish tomorrow, it will feature a blessing of candles and a candlelight procession followed by Latin Mass (St. Ann will bless candles before 7am Novus Ordo Mass tomorrow morning – see below). We provide a special commentary on the prayers of Mass today by Dr. Mike Foley: https://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2022/02/the-purifying-orations-of-candlemas.html#.Yfoun_hOmHs
We also provide a quote by Dom Prosper Gueranger from today’s reflection in The Liturgical Year:
At length, the Holy Family enters Jerusalem. The name of this holy City signifies Vision of Peace; and Jesus comes to bring her Peace. Let us consider the names of the three places in which our Redeemer began, continued, and ended his life on earth. He is conceived at Nazareth, which signifies a Flower; and Jesus is, as he tells us in the Canticle, the Flower of the field and the Lily of the valley, by whose fragrance we are refreshed. He is born at Bethlehem, the House of Bread; for he is the nourishment of our souls. He dies on the Cross in Jerusalem, and by his Blood he restores peace between heaven and earth, peace between men, peace within our own souls; and on this day of his Mother’s Purification, we shall find him giving us the pledge of this peace.
- February 2nd – The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary: https://fsspatl.com/liturgical-year/525-sanctoral-cycle/february/3065-february-2-the-purification-of-the-blessed-mary
Candlemas – Feast of the Purification Thursday February 2nd
The 40 day Christmas season closes tomorrow, but not before the brilliant feast of Candles is celebrated, the 40th day of Christmas. Candlemas is known as the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Leviticus 12:2-8), and candles were blessed on this day as a symbol of the Blessed Mother presenting the Light of the World (the Infant Jesus) to God in the Temple – hence it’s also called the feast of the Presentation. Thus candles – representing the Light of Christ – are blessed on February 2nd. The next day, February 3rd is the feast of St. Blaise, and the blessing of throats occurs with the candles blessed the day prior. Here are some of the Latin Masses for February 2nd:
- St. Ann, No Latin Mass. A traditional Latin blessing of Candles will occur before the 7am Novus Ordo Mass: Prior to the start of the 7am Novus Ordo Mass, Fr. Jones will bless candles in the Traditional Rite. Please bring candles near the altar rails. Please arrive a few minutes early.
- St. Thomas Aquinas, 7pm – Latin Mass, blessing of candles and procession: Please bring candles to the table near the sanctuary to be blessed.
- St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country, Boone, NC – 9:30am Latin Mass, (100 miles northwest of Charlotte): Candle blessing at beginning of Mass.
- Holy Cross, Kernersville, 7pm Latin Mass (90 miles north of Charlotte): Will include a blessing of candles.
- Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC – 7pm Latin Mass (100 miles southwest of Charlotte): Prince of Peace parish will offer a Latin Mass along with a blessing of candles. It is suggested to arrive 10-15 minutes early. Parish is located at 1209 Brushy Creek Road, Taylors, SC.
- Our Lady of the Lake, Chapin, SC, – 6:30pm Latin Mass (100 miles south of Charlotte): Blessing of candles will take place at the beginning of Mass, followed by a procession. It will be offered at Our Lady of the Lake parish in Chapin, SC (195 Amicks Ferry Road, Chapin, SC)
Candle Instructions: Candles should be 51% beeswax or greater (no scented candles, etc.); packages should be opened and any plastic wrap should be removed to allow the candles to be blessed with Holy Water.
Customs of Candlemas
- To learn more about the traditions customs, and recipes for this feast day (including its influence on Groundhog Day), visit: https://www.fisheaters.com/customstimeafterepiphany3.html
- Dr Peter Kwasniewski compares the Latin candle blessing vs. the modern one: https://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2021/02/a-comparison-of-old-and-new-blessing-of.html#.Yfos_fhOmHt
First Sunday in Salisbury
Lastly Sacred Heart parish in Salisbury will offer its 1st Sunday Latin Mass at 4pm. Mass is offered by Fr. Putnam and Confessions will be offered 30 minutes prior to Mass. Afterwards a potluck will be held in the Brincefield Hall. Please bring a dish or dessert to share. For more information please contact the Salisbury Latin Mass Community at: www.salisburylmc.org
First Sunday Potluck at St. Thomas Aquinas
There will be a potluck after the 11:30am Sunday Latin Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas parish. Additionally, Fr. Codd will be offering a special blessing of breads in honor of St. Agatha – so please bring any breads you would like to have blessed.
Blessing of Bread Sunday February 5 – St. Ann parish
As noted above, Sunday is the feast day of St. Agatha and the CLMC and St. Ann parish will be organizing a blessing of bread after the 12:30pm Latin Mass at St. Ann parish. There is an ancient tradition to bless bread on her feast day, and Father will bless bread with a traditional Latin blessing after Mass. Everyone is welcome to bring bread to be blessed – we will have a table available for bread blessing in the plaza.
The Labor of Bees
As noted above, it is appropriate to have 51% beeswax or greater candles blessed today as the 1962 Missal has a special prayer for blessing of beeswax candles only available on February 2nd which specifically references the labor of bees in making the beeswax used for candles to be blessed. This prayer reads:
Holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, who hast created all things out of nothing, and by Thy command hast caused this liquid to become perfect wax by the labour of bees…
Bees take on special meaning in the symbolism of the spiritual life, as the CLMC’s own Chris Lauer explained in his article, because they sacrifice themselves for others:
- On Candles and Sacrifice: https://liturgyguy.com/2017/01/31/on-candles-and-sacrifice/
Dom Prosper Gueranger expounds further in The Liturgical Year, on the other symbols of wax, bees, the candles:
The mystery of today’s ceremony has frequently been explained by liturgists, dating from the 7th century. According to St. Ivo of Chartres, the wax—which is formed from the juice of flowers by the bee (which has always been considered as the emblem of virginity)—signifies the virginal flesh of the Divine Infant, who diminished not, either by his conception or his birth, the spotless purity of his Blessed Mother. The same holy Bishop would have us see, in the flame of our Candle, a symbol of Jesus, who came to enlighten our darkness. St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking on the same mystery, bids us consider three things in the blessed Candle: the Wax, the Wick, and the Flame. The Wax, he says, which is the production of the virginal bee, is the Flesh of our Lord; the Wick, which is within, is his Soul; the Flame, which burns on the top, is his Divinity.
Lastly, in case you missed yesterday’s announcement about Saturday’s 1st Saturday schedule change, and upcoming talks at St. Thomas Aquinas including one on Fatima, and the FSSP’s Lenten Mission, please see this update: https://charlottelatinmass.org/2023/01/31/st-thomas-aquinas-parish-fssp-lenten-mission-upcoming-talks/