The scriptures tell us the story of the presentation of Christ in the temple in Luke chapter 2. It is a story that fundamentally affirms the fidelity of those who had placed their hope in God’s promises. Mary and Joseph show their faith in God by obeying the law of Leviticus chapter 12 which calls for an offering to be made 40 days after the birth of a first-born son. It also shows the faith of Simeon and Anna – two old souls who spent their days in faithful hope for God’s promise.
Simeon offers us one of the great prayers of the church:
“Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation.”
It is said each night before bed in the night office and has helped place the lives of countless faithful men and women into the hands of God for centuries. It is a prayer that I sing over my children every night.
The celebration of this feast is one of the oldest and richest in the Church. There are different celebrations done throughout the world. If my family we go to mass and have our candles blessed each year and then celebrate with a celebration with our parish community afterwords.
Do you have a tradition for the celebration of this feast? I’d love to hear about it.