by Phillip Brunswick, Grace Choir Master

Join the Choirs of Grace Episcopal Church for Evensong for Candlemas, Thursday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m.

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, known popularly as Candlemas, commemorates the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the presentation of Christ in the temple, which took place 40 days after his birth, as Jewish law required. once in on line pokies the temple, Jesus was purified by the prayer of Simeon, in the presence of Anna the Prophetess. Simeon, upon seeing the messiah, gave thanks to the Lord, singing a hymn now called the Nunc Dimittis.

Candlemas was also the day when some cultures predicted weather patterns. Farmers believed that the remainder of winter would be the opposite of whatever the weather was like on Candlemas Day. As an old English song goes:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come winter, have another flight:
If Candlemas be clouds and rain,
Go winter, and  come not again.

So if the sun cast a shadow on Candlemas day, more winter was on the way; if there was no shadow, winter was thought to be ending soon. This practice led to the folklore behind “Groundhog”s Day,” which falls on Candlemas Day.

 

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