Join us this Sunday for the Candlemas Service at 3.30pm

The season of joyful celebration that begins with the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas and then continues through the successive Sundays of Epiphany, concludes with the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Candlemas) on Sunday 2nd February.

The child who has been ‘manifested’ to the magi at his birth and John at his baptism is recognized by Simeon and Anna when he is presented in the Temple by his parents.

According to the Law of Israel the firstborn son is holy to God and must be redeemed, or ‘bought back’ by them.

Simeon recognises that Jesus is both ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles’ and ‘the glory of God’s people Israel’.

But the redemption he will bring must be won through suffering; the Incarnation is directed to the Passion; and Simeon’s final words move our attention away from the celebration of Christmas and towards the mysteries of Easter.

The Candlemas title refers to the ancient practice of candles being lit to reference the ‘light to lighten the Gentiles’ phrase in Simeon’s prophecy.

The period from Christmas to Candlemas is 40 days, and from it we shortly move into the season of Lent, another 40-day period….

Belfast Cathedral Sunday 2nd Feb 2020 15:30