In Purificatione Beatae Mariae Virginis

Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Candlemas) – February 2  

Tis the festival on which the Church venerates the humility and obedience of Mary who, though not subject to the law of Moses, which required purification and presentation in the temple, yet subjected herself to it. From this comes the name Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. It is also called Candlemas, because before Mass on this day the candles used in divine service are blessed and carried in procession. ~Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine's, The Church's Year, INSTRUCTION ON THE FEAST OP THE PURIFICATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, COMMONLY CALLED CANDLEMAS-DAY.



In the traditional Roman liturgy ~ there would be a special blessing of candles and a procession before Mass would begin. The chants sung for the rite contain many references to light. Also, a lighted candle is to be held during the reading of the Gospel and during the Roman Canon. The candle brings to mind also our baptism.  ~Fr. Z



THE BLESSING OF THE CANDLES ~ Before the Procession, the Priest, vested in a violet cope, blesses the candles, which are placed near the altar.

The Blessing of the CandlesE receiving blessed candle 2.2.13 v2E receiving blessed candle 2.2.13G with blessed candle 2.2.13G with blessed candle 2.2.13 v2

THE PROCESSION ~ The procession takes place, all bearing lighted candles.

Candlemas Procession collage 2.2.13Candlemas Procession collage 2.2.13 v2


candlemas girls with candles

Candles are beautiful symbols of our sacrifices. They are like living things. They eat and drink the wax from the bees, made collectively in association with sweetness. They breath air. They move in their flames as they flicker. They communicate to our eyes a beautiful light and give contrast to their surroundings by illumination. They burn out at the end of their span. So do we. They are consumed for the Lord in the liturgy. So should we be. We do all these things. And so, using candles in important times is a very wholesome and Catholic practice. Leaving one of these little candles in a Church, as a symbolic sacrifice of your prayers and petitions is entirely natural. ~ Fr. Z




  1. You are so blessed to have this at your parish! We did have the blessing of the throats of Mass this weekend and I saw a family bring their candles from home up to have blessed. I wish I would have thought of that.

  2. These are beautiful, Lena. I was sad not to go and photograph mine but didn't want to spread germs. So nice to see yours!



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