A Day of Purification,Renewal, and Hope

Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Candlemas) The Feast of Candlemas, which derives its origin from the local observance of Jerusalem, marks the end of the Feasts included in the Christmas cycle of the liturgy. It is perhaps the most ancient festival of Our Lady. It commemorates, however, not only the obedience of the Blessed Virgin to the Mosaic Law in going to Jersualem forty days after the birth of her Child and making the accustomed offerings, but also the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, and the meeting of the Infant Jesus with the old man Simeon -- the Occursus Domini, as the Feast was originally termed. This is the principal theme of the liturgy on this day: Jesus is taken into the Temple "to present Him to the Lord." So the Lord comes to His own Temple, and is met by the aged Simeon with joy and recognition.
The procession on this day is one of the most picturesque features of the Western liturgy. The blessing and distribution of candles, to be carried lighted in procession, preceded the Mass today -- a symbolic presentation of the truth proclaimed in the Canticle of Simeon: Our Lord is the "Light for the revelation of the Gentiles." The anthems sung during this procession, eastern in origin, well express the joy and gladness of this happy festival, and the honor and praise we give to our Blessed Lady and her Divine Son by this devout observance.

Lumen ad revelationem gentium: et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.
   A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.

[CandlemasDay.jpg]Today we are celebrating the Purification of The Blessed Virgin Mary - Candlemas(Extraordinary form).  We are reflecting on the day of purification, renewal, and hope. 

Today is the end of the Christmas season in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  We will be taking down our Christmas Tree and Nativities.

We were blessed to be able to attend morning Mass at a local Novus Ordo parish, as a family but are sad that we will not be able to  attend the evening High Mass (in the Extraordinary Form) at our Parish.  I posted a video below of a Candlemas Procession.  It is a beautiful tradition (that we will miss today).

Anthem sung During the Procession

Adorn thy bridal-chamber, O Sion, and welcome Christ the King: with loving embrace greet Mary who is the very gate of heaven; for she bringeth to thee the glorious King of the new light: remaining ever a Virgin yet she bearest in her arms the Son begotten before the day-star: even the Child, whom Simeon taking into his arms, declared to the peoples to be the Lord of life and death, and the Savior of the world.




On this day, I’m are also giving special thanks for the blessed custom of Churching of Women. 

Churching of Women is imitative of the day, which we commemorate on 2 February (Candlemas), that Mary underwent her "purification” (ceremonially speaking and in obedience to the Old Law) and presented her Son in the Temple to Simeon.  ~ Fisheaters

June 4, 2010

Churching of Women Ritual ~ Baptism of Dragonfly

Churching of Women:

Churching is the woman's way of giving thanksgiving to God for the birth of her child, and predisposes her, through the priestly blessing that is a part of the ritual, to receive the graces necessary to raise her child in a manner pleasing to God.

churching 2010 057

churching and consecration 2010 058

The Ritual

The woman will make arrangements with her priest (ideally, the priest should know the women of his parish and make the offer to her).

At the appointed time, she will kneel in the Narthex, holding a lighted candle. The priest, wearing a white stole, will bless her with holy water, and say:

  • V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
  • R. Who made Heaven and Earth.

ANT. She shall receive.

Psalm 23 1

The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof; the world, and all they that dwell therein.  For He hath founded it upon the seas; and hath prepared it upon the rivers.  Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord: or who shall stand in His holy place?  The innocent in hands and clean of heart, who hath not taken his soul in vain, nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbor.  He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God his Savior.  This is the generation of them that seek Him, of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob.  Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of glory shall enter in.  Who is this King of glory? the Lord Who is strong and mighty: the Lord mighty in battle.  Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of glory shall enter in.  Who is this King of glory? the Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.  Glory be to the Father.

ANT. She shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and mercy from God her Savior: for this is the generation of them that seek the Lord.

The priest places the end of his stole in the woman's hand and leads her into the church while saying:

Enter into the temple of God, adore the Son of the blessed Virgin Mary, who gave you fruitfullness of offspring.

Outside the sanctuary, the mother kneels before the Altar and prays, thanking God for her child.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. (Now the Our Father is said silently)

  • V. And lead us not into temptation.
  • R. But deliver us from evil.
  • V. Save your handmaid, Lord.
  • R. Who hopes in Thee, my God.
  • V. Send her help, Lord, from the sanctuary.
  • R. And defend her out of Sion.
  • V. Let not the enemy prevail against her.
  • R. Nor the son of iniquity approach to hurt her.
  • V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
  • R. And let my cry come to Thee.
  • V. The Lord be with you.
  • R. And with thy spirit.
  • V. Let us pray.

Almighty, everlasting God, through the delivery of the blessed Virgin Mary, Thou hast turned into joy the pains of the faithful in childbirth; look mercifully upon this Thy handmaid, coming in gladness to Thy temple to offer up her thanks: and grant that after this life, by the merits and intercession of the same blessed Mary, she may merit to arrive, together with her offspring, at the joys of everlasting happiness. Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

The priest sprinkles the mother with holy water in the shape of a Cross.

The peace and blessing of God almighty, the Father + and the Son and the Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain forever.

R. Amen.



  1. Beautiful. Thank you for all of this.

    Latin Mass is almost unheard of where we are so it is difficult for us to grow in understanding and appreciation. There is one Mass each week but it is rather far away. I have been several times in different places but my unfamiliarity has caused me to be confused and distracted. I love altar rails though and wish they'd find a way to at least reinstitute those at the Novus Ordo. The publication of the revised (more accurate) missal this year is exciting... and I am encouraged by the positive reception by our priests.

  2. What a beautiful post of this wonderful tradition! I have never experienced a Latin Mass myself and would like to find one if I could.



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