Hearing Simeon's Canticle ...
"Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation for Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." (Luke 2:29-33)
And continuing a Catholic tradition of candles ...
"Centuries later, and for generations to come, candles will be blessed and lit in abundance on this day to celebrate the Light from Light." (A Catholic Home)
There are so many lovely traditions to Candlemas, it's hard to know just where to start! We won't be celebrating till Friday, but in honor of Suzanne's Loveliness Fair this Monday, I would like to share the ideas I've come across here and there, with you now. And then, later on Friday, I will share pictures and tales from our day. :)
Certainly, I would never be able to incorporate all these activities into one feast day! But I do love to research liturgical ideas - I find it fascinating and the more ideas to choose from, the more interesting our celebration will be!
First, let me share a few links:
1. Candlemas is explained fully at:
More things we could do:
3. Read from the Gospel of Luke 2:22-40, about the Presentation of Our Lord. Reflect on it as the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, and read this story in our Children's Bible as well.
4. Follow directions in Art 1 for Young Catholics to make a shadowbox production of the Presentation, using a candle and shoe box.
5. Roll beeswax candles - if the package gets here in time. (Why do I always leave things to the last minute?) Bundle them together and tie up with raffia to bring them to Sunday Mass ...
6. And ask Father to bless our candles for us.
7. Learn about fire (heat, light) this week for science (as an element of earth) and history (how medieval society used fire).
8. Learn about snowdrops, or Candlemas Bells, as they were called by medieval monks due to their blooming around this feast:
"In the early sixteenth century the monks at Melrose Abbey in Scotland, dedicated to Mary, believed that the snowdrop, which grew in the Mary garden there, bloomed on February 2 in memory of the Virgin Mary presenting her child Jesus to the temple ... The pure white flower became an emblem of Our Lady's purity." (Mary's Flowers)
For more information, there is a wonderful page here. How I wish I had them growing in our garden! (Next year for sure.)
9. Read The Story of the Snow Children and enjoy the beautiful illustrations ~ each page is bordered with snowdrops - use them to sketch! Read "The Song of the Snowdrop Fairy" in The Flower Fairies of Winter.
10. Maybeee make a tiny snowdrop fairy doll for the nature table (again, waiting on that package!) with white and green woolen felt.
11. As we are beginning our study of the "History of the Sword" this week, both Simeon's prophecy and the leaves of the snowdrop will be tied in:
"The leaves of the plant resemble miniature versions of iris "sword" foliage, an association with the sorrowful prophecy of Simon: "and a sword will pierce your own soul too." (Mary Gardens)
12. Learn and recite this English proverb:
"If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again."
13. Enter the above saying into our nature notebooks, along with the weather conditions of the day and the Groundhog's prediction!
14. Decorate pillar candles with dried flowers and herbs (found at craft stores) ~ apply them with melted beeswax.
15. According to longstanding tradition, it was customary for the lady of the house to check on the household candle supply today. We will do the same - the boys will help me tally what we have and we'll make up a list of what we need.
16. Discuss the saying "Candlemas - Candle-less." Note sunrise and sunset time in the nature calendar.
17. Make tiny nature candles with melted candle stubs and walnut shells, gold cardstock and birthday candles. (Along the lines of the seashell candle we made here.)
18. Sing songs about light, and particularly, Our Light ~ This Little Light of Mine, for example.
19. Make a toilet-paper tube candle with construction paper and an image of Jesus. This would be good to do with EB who is still very young for most candle crafts.
20. According to tradition, take down every last bit of Christmas greenery on this day. The blessings tree will be put away till next year.
21. Dine by candles only at night. Share with Daddy all that we did and learned.
Whew - so many ideas - a few years' worth I'd say! Obviously too many to squeeze into one day. So I must ask myself, how do I want our Candlemas Day to unfold?
Well, that is the next step in the process ... tune in on Friday to find out! And please stop by Suzanne's on Monday for the Loveliness of Candlemas Fair. I'm sure my list of ideas will be even longer after I do!