Candlemas – February 2nd

Laudetur Iesus Christus! Blessed 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. Ann parish, it will feature a blessing of candles and a candlelight Latin Mass. We provide a special commentary on the prayers of Mass today by Dr. Mike Foley:

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.

Candlemas – Feast of the Purification Wednesday February 2nd

The 40 day Christmas season closes today, but not before the brilliant feast of Candles is celebrated today, the 40th day of Christmas.  Candlemas is also 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 today. 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 the Masses for today February 2nd:

St. Ann, 6pm Candlelight Latin Mass (candle blessing at beginning of Mass): Please place your candles on the table in the narthex no later than 5:45pm. 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. Father will bless them and then immediately process into the Church.

St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country, Boone, NC 6pm Latin Mass, (100 miles northwest of Charlotte): Candle blessing at beginning of Mass.

Holy Cross, Kernersville, 6:15pm Latin Mass (with candle blessing at Mass): Fr. Noah Carter, pastor of Holy Cross parish in Kernersville, just west of Greensboro (616 S. Cherry Street, Kernersville) will offer a special Traditional Latin Mass with candle blessing. The parish will distribute 300 blessed candles to attendees.  Anyone who wishes to provide their own candles can bring them and place them on a table prepared on the epistle side of the sanctuary near the altar rails.

Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC, 7pm Solemn High Mass (100 miles southwest of Charlotte): Prince of Peace parish will offer a Solemn High Mass along with a blessing of candles. To have candles blessed, please place them inside the Communion rail before Mass. It is suggested to arrive 10-15 minutes early accomplish this. 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)

Customs of Candlemas

Confraternity of St. Peter – Novena Begins Today February 2 – February 10

For those of our readers who are members of the Confraternity of St. Peter, the lay apostolate of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP – Latin Mass society of priests), a novena is starting today to pray for the FSSP priests as they consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on February 11, feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Confraternity members are invited to join them in praying this novena, which we link to here:

SAVE THE DATE: End of Epiphany Celebration – Sunday February 6, 12:30pm

The CLMC will be hosting its annual close of Epiphanytide celebration after the 12:30pm Latin Mass on the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, February 6 at St. Ann parish. Please bring a dish or a treat to share. The Cantate Domino Latin Choir will also sing the traditional wassailing song as well.

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:

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.

Blessed Candlemas and a Merry Christmas.