Candlemas and other church happenings set for Sunday PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor   
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:26
Depending on which church one attends, there is an interesting mix of topics planned from the pulpits.
Based on sermons provided to the Sentinel-Tribune, pastors will be discussing the interesting and eclectic mix which are converging on Sunday.
It is Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday and the celebration of The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, commonly called Candlemas, as well as the last Sunday before the start of the Winter Olympics.
Other references and topics mentioned for Sunday services include the Pope, the Beatitudes, Frosty the Snowman, amputation, happiness, pain, misery and loneliness, to name just a handful.
The one which is probably least known is Candlemas. a Catholic traditional feast day, the Presentation of the Lord is noted in most Bibles. It is 40 days after Christ's birth and the time when Jewish women according to the Mosaic law who had given birth to a man-child was considered unclean for seven days. Moreover she was to remain 33 additional days "in the blood of her purification" to account for the 40-day total.
In the case of Jesus' mother, Mary, she followed the law and presented Christ in the temple as well as herself for ritual purification.
This feast always falls on Feb. 2.
Luke refers to a passage from Exodus as he explains that Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem and they also went to sacrifice a pair of doves or two young pigeons, also as prescribed in the law. The second dove is a substitute for a lamb with poor families such as the Holy Family.
The Candlemas term comes from this celebration which was often called the "Candle Mass." In the Western Church, a procession with lighted candles is the distinctive rite associated with the "Presentation of the Lord" service. Originally it was celebrated the 40th day after Epiphany on Feb. 14.
Many churches continue to this day to bless candles on this day. Some may also hold special blessings of people's throats using candles. Feb. 3, the Feast of St. Blaise is the traditional day for blessing throats, but some churches will observe that practice in conjunction with Candlemas.
No matter the worship, undoubtedly many people will be anxious to get home to watch the Super Bowl rooting for the Broncos or Seahawks; while others will be hoping or praying the groundhog does not see his shadow, the sign for an early spring.

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