2nd February is the celebration of a festival often known as Candlemas – its longer title is the Feast of the Purification of Mary. It marks the story in Luke 2.22-40 when Mary and Joseph take their baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to make the offerings required by Jewish law at the time. This day formally marks the end of the season of Christmas so really is the time to take down any lingering decorations or to put away the Nativity set.
After Candlemas, we begin to look towards Easter and reflecting on the significance of the death of Jesus and the hope we find in the resurrection.
As a Celtic Connexion special we have a short service for Candlemas at 1 pm on Thursday 31 January taking place in South Street Baptist Church. This will take place whilst Dove Cafe is serving people in the Lower Hall of the Palace Gate Centre.
Our service is based on one written by the Revd David Adams, formerly the vicar of Holy Island and a writer of excellent liturgies. It lasts about 25 minutes and people can choose to share in it or just to listen and reflect. We will hear the story of the baby Jesus presented in the Temple and how some of those there saw the significance and wonder of this child.
The association of this festival with candles comes because one of the characters in the story sees in Jesus the light of hope not just for his people, but for the whole world. Our service ends with everyone present invited to share this light by carrying a lighted candle – we close with the intention of taking this light out into the world to be a blessing to others.
All are very welcome to join us at this informal service.