Candlemas, in Pictures, at St. Michael’s in Scranton

The Feast of the Purification of Mary, also called Candlemas, is known to have been observed from the times of persecution by accounts of its celebration in the Church at Jerusalem in the time of Constantine’s conversion. At first celebrated 40 days after Epiphany, the Feast was eventually moved to February 2nd.  It is the last day of the Christmas season.

Before the Mass, the priest offers five prescribed orations accompanied by the usual aspersion and incensation with which he blesses the new candles.  The candles are then distributed to clergy and faithful while the Canticle of Simeon is sung with the antiphon Lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuæ Israel (“A Light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel”) repeated after every verse. Then follows the procession, at which all the partakers carry lighted candles in their hands and the choir sings the antiphon Adorna thalamum tuum, Sion (“Adorn thy bridal-chamber, O Sion”,) composed by St. John of Damascus.

Enjoy pictures of Candlemas, celebrated by Fr. Jose Zepeda, FSSP, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel parish in Scranton.

February 7, 2014