Simon’s Says

Not many western Christians celebrate Candlemas, though many eastern and Orthodox, as well as some high church folk, do.  And I know a few people who celebrate Candlemas’ pagan predecessor, Imbolq, though not many.   But earlier this week most of us celebrated a holiday that falls on the same day as both Candlemas and Imbolq:  Groundhog Day, February 2.   Candlemas is the day that marks the presentation of Jesus in the Temple as recounted in Luke 2; falling approximately 40 days after his birth, it marks the close of the infant’s postpartum period.  But more to the point, and to the calendar, February 2 marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.

The celebration of Candlemas prominently features, as you can guess, the blessing of candles.  People would bring their candles to church (or the church might provide them), and the clergy bless the candles, which are then used and lighted in devotion for the rest of the year.  The practice is at least partly inspired by the notion of Jesus as the light of the world.  We’re going to be talking about the light of the world this Sunday, specifically the place in the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says to his followers, “You are the light of the world.”  If Jesus is the light of the world (John’s gospel) and we are as well (Matthew’s gospel), I’d say we have some pretty good company.

And if I could play some recorded music for you on Sunday (which, due to copyright laws, I can’t do because we are broadcasting live) it would be the delightful rendition of “I Am the Light of This World” by Hot Tuna (whom I was fortunate to hear at the Garde Theater just before the world shut down two years ago):

Here are the links to the bulletin and Sunday’s service:
Sunday February 6, Communion Sunday Bulletin
Link to service




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