ALMIGHTY and everliving God, we humbly beseech thy Majesty, that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(The Collect for the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, BCP, p. 266)
The Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, also known as the Purification of Saint Mary the Virgin, and often called Candlemas, will be observed with a service of Choral Holy Communion on Thursday, February 2nd, at 7 pm. In the Gospel on page 267 of your Prayer Book you will find a description of what this Holy Day is commemorating. The service will feature a candlelight procession in which all who are present will take part. As we will hear in the Gospel reading, the ancient Simeon greeted the arrival of the Infant Jesus with the words: “Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace.” Simeon recognized the Christ Child as his Saviour and carried Jesus, the Light of the world, in his arms, and so we too will carry our lighted candles as a sign of that Light that came into the world. During this service, all the candles for the next year will be blessed. The music of the service will include the beautiful choral music of Philippe de Rogier, William Byrd and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck, with an organ voluntary by Dietrich Buxtehude.
Our guest preacher will be the Rev’d Dr. Paul Friesen, Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Halifax.