Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Candlemas - February 2nd

Candlemas - February 2

Christmas IS Over!

Candlemas Eve

Down with the rosemary and bays,
Down with the misletoe;
Instead of holly, now up-raise
The greener box, for show.   
 
The holly hitherto did sway;
Let box now domineer,
Until the dancing Easter-day,
Or Easter’s eve appear.   
 
Then youthful box, which now hath grace
Your houses to renew,
Grown old, surrender must his place
Unto the crispèd yew.

When yew is out, then birch comes in,
And many flowers beside,
Both of a fresh and fragrant kin,
To honour Whitsuntide.   

Green rushes then, and sweetest bents,
With cooler oaken boughs,
Come in for comely ornaments,
To re-adorn the house.

Thus times do shift; 
Each thing his turn does hold;
New things succeed,
As former things grow old.

The poem takes us from Christmastide, taking down our Christmas decorations, to Easter and then Pentecost (Whitsunday) and into summertime - and back to when "cooler oaken boughs..." and it is time again to re-adorn the house for the next Christ Mass celebration.
 
Today's readings are from the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple - and is the last lectionary reference to the infancy of Jesus for the liturgical year.


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