Tag Archives: Presentation of the Lord

Presentation of the Lord

The liturgical life of the Church is a prism which diffuses the blinding light of revelation into the variegated hues that we can perceive and whose colors gladden the hearts of the faithful. The metrical homily of Mar Jacob of Sarug on the Encounter of the Lord sheds light on why the righteous elder Simeon and the aged Anna the prophetess were chosen to greet the new-born Savior. “It was right too that one ancient in days should bear witness to the Elder Who became a Child at the end of the times.” The aged ones are a sign to us the Pre-eternal God-made-man has come at the end of time. In this context we recall the words of another Syriac father, Mar Isaac of Nineveh, “Life is given to us for repentance: let us not squander it in idle pursuits.”

h/t SMRC

Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas

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We are 40 days away from the Nativity of the Lord. The Presentation of the Lord is a feast the Church in the Eastern part of the ecclesial world, known as an “Encounter,” a second epiphany of the new born King and Messiah given the words of the Simeon. Christ is identified as the Light of the Nations.

The Christology of the Liturgy is quite clear and instructive: by no other person is salvation possible. By the same token this Light to the Nations is a supreme sign of contradiction (St Cyril of Jerusalem) and a stumbling block (St Paul)

The feast began to observed in the 6th century. The Western Church made this feast more penitential because it began to be linked with the purification of Mary according to the Mosaic law.

In the Missal of Blessed John XXIII today ends the Christmas season whereas in the Missal of Paul VI the feast of the Baptism of the Lord ends Christmas.

Our liturgical observance of the Lord’s Presentation is also called “Candlemas” because the Church blesses candles, all the candles to be used in the Mass, including the Paschal Candle to be used at the Easter Vigil; home candles are also brought to church for this blessing. Besides the special prayers prayed, Simeon’s song Nunc dimittis, Saint John of Damascus’ song Adorna thalamum tuum, Sion AND Zacharia’s Benedictus are sung by the choir. Christ as the light of the world is not merely a theological statement, it is a reality in the life of the Christian. To what end do we reflect the light of Christ in the home, in the workplace, in social settings?

V. Zion, let your wedding chamber be prepared to receive Christ your King.

R. The Virgin conceived and gave birth to a son, yet she remained a virgin for ever. She knelt in worship before her child.

V. Simeon took the child in his arms and gave praise and thanks to God.

R. The Virgin conceived and gave birth to a son,  yet she remained a virgin for ever. She knelt in worship before her child.


Ave, Mary full of grace

In whose virgin arms’ embrace

God to God Himself doth vow!

Alleluia, alleluia!

Let me in the temple wait,

Jesu, for mine all art Thou.

God is to His temple come;

Angels throng the hallowed dome;

What beyond hath heav’n in store?

Alleluia, alleluia!

God Himself our flesh doth wear;

This than heav’n itself is more.

Incense gales of gladness rise

Where this morning sacrifice

‘Mid re-echoing shouts is made.

Alleluia, alleluia!

Evening’s rite in tears shall end,

On the dark’ning Cross displayed.

There behold th’Oblation wrought,

By Whose precious ransom bought,

We are all to God made nigh.

Alleluia, alleluia!

Now no longer, Lord, our own,

Thine we live and Thine we die!

Let Thy servants now depart;

May we see Thee as Thou art,

Nought of earth arrest our eyes!

Alleluia, alleluia!

Let us here with Jesus grow,

And in Him hereafter rise!

A sequence from an 18th century Paris Missal

Consecrated Life is a living exegesis of the Word of God, Pope tells religious

Presentation - Candlemas.jpeg

In today’s feast we contemplate the Lord Jesus whom
Mary and Joseph take to the Temple “to present him to the Lord” (Luke
2:22). Revealed in this evangelical scene is the mystery of the Son of the
Virgin, the consecrated One of the Father, who came into the world to carry out
his will faithfully (cf. Hebrews 10:5-7).

Simeon points to him as “light
for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32), and proclaims with prophetic
word his supreme offer to God and his final victory (cf. Luke 2:32-35). It is
the meeting of the two Testaments, the Old and the New. Jesus enters the
ancient Temple, He who is the new Temple of God: He comes to visit his people,
bringing to fulfillment obedience to the Law and inaugurating the end times of

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Presentation of the Lord

Presentation of the Lord PdeChampaigne.jpgIn honor of the divine mystery that we celebrate
today, let us all hasten to meet Christ. Everyone should be eager to join the procession
and to carry a light. Our lighted candle are a sign of the divine splendor of
the One who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole
universe radiant with the brilliance of His eternal light. Our candles show us
how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ.

from a homily of Saint Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem
Office of Readings

Presentation of the Lord: Adorna, Sion, Thalamum

Presentation of the Lord3.jpg 

Let Zion‘s bridal-room be clothed:
He comes, her Lord and her Betrothed.
Let bride and Bridegroom, by faith’s light,
A vigil keep throughout the night.

Saint Simeon, go forth in joy.
Exult to see the baby Boy:
Make known to all the Light divine

That soon on ev’ry land shall shine.

His parents to the temple bring
The Temple as an offering
The righteousness of law He chose
Though to the law He nothing owes.

So, Mary, bring this little one,
Yours and the Father’s only Son
Through whom our offering is made
By whom our ransom price is paid.

And forward, royal Virgin, go
And let rejoicing overflow
With gifts bring forth your newborn Son
Who comes to rescue everyone.

Lord Jesus Christ, the Glory bright

Who guides the nations into light

Be praised, and for eternity

Be glorified, O Trinity. Amen.



Text by Saint  John of Damascus Translation c. 2009 Kathleen Pluth. Permission is granted for parish use Feb. 2, 2009. All other rights reserved.

For more on Candlemas, see this Catholic Encyclopedia article.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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