Sunday, February 02, 2020

OK, Christmastide Ends Today

Today is Candlemas, traditionally celebrated as the Feast of the Purification and the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. In today's Gospel it is the last reading related to the Nativity, and with this - Christmastide ends for this liturgical year.

Luke 2:22-24
And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord: As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord: And to offer a sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons
Of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary did not need purification, but she fulfilled the requirement of the Law, for to not do so would have been scandalous and could even have been called sinful. 40 days after the Nativity is the required time (for the birth of a son, it is 40 days, 33+7, for the birth of a daughter it is 80 days, 66+14) and after this time the mother is able to be present at the Temple for the presentation (Mowczko, 2018).  
This is the picture of a mikveh, similar to that which the Blessed Virgin would have been immersed in 40 days after the birth of Jesus (this one is at Magdala):

And here is a mikveh found on the Temple mound:  

After the purification ceremony, the mother is permitted to go to the Temple to present her son to the Lord, which is why we also celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple on this day.

Time to Take Down Christmas Decorations!

OK, so how many of you waited to take down your Christmas decorations until today?  Please comment below!


Mowczko, M. (2018). Periods of purification after childbirth (Leviticus 12:1-8). [Blog article]. Retrieved from 

1 comment:

  1. It is a rather short Epiphany season, which did start on January 6th, but due to an early Easter, next Sunday starts the Season Before Lent with Septuagesima Sunday. Epiphany is part of Christmastide but can last longer than Christmastide which always ends on Candlemas - Epiphany can last from 4 to 6 weeks - depending on the date of Easter.


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