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The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of Candlemas, which derives its origin from the local observance of Jerusalem, marks the end of the Feasts included in the Christmas cycle of the liturgy. It is perhaps the most ancient festival of Our Lady. It commemorates, however, not only the obedience of the Blessed Virgin to the Mosaic Law in going to Jersualem forty days after the birth of her Child and making the accustomed offerings, but also the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, and the meeting of the Infant Jesus with the old man Simeon -- the Occursus Domini, as the Feast was originally termed. This is the principal theme of the liturgy on this day: Jesus is taken into the Temple "to present Him to the Lord." So the Lord comes to His own Temple, and is met by the aged Simeon with joy and recognition.
The procession on this day is one of the most picturesque features of the Western liturgy. The blessing and distribution of candles, to be carried lighted in procession, preceded the Mass today -- a symbolic presentation of the truth proclaimed in the Canticle of Simeon: Our Lord is the "Light for the revelation of the Gentiles." The anthems sung during this procession, eastern in origin, well express the joy and gladness of this happy festival, and the honor and praise we give to our Blessed Lady and her Divine Son by this devout observance.

White   2nd Class
THE BLESSING OF THE CANDLES AND THE PROCESSION
1. the blessing
The Priest, vested in a violet cope, blesses the candles, which are placed near the altar
V. Dominus Vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
 
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy Spirit.
First Prayer
Oremus. -- Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus, qui omnia ex nihilo creasti, ut jussu tuo per opera apum, hunc liquorem ad perfectionem cereri venire fecisti: et qui hodierna die petitionem justi Simeonis implesti: te humiliter deprecamur; ut has candelas as usushominum, et sanitatem coporum et animarum, sive, in acquis, per invocationem tui sanctisimi nominis, et per intercessionem beatae Mariae semper Virgnis, cujus hodie festa devote celebrantur, et per preces omnium Sanctorum tuorum, bene†dicere, et sanci†ficare digneris: et hujus plebis tuae, quae illas honorifice in manibus desiderat portare, teque cantando laudare, exaudias voces de coelo sancto tuo, et de sede majestatis tuae: et propitius sis omnibus clamantibus ad te, quos redemisti pretioso sanguine Filii tui: Qui tecum vivit et regnat.   Let us Pray -- O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, who hast created all things out of nothing, and by Thy command hast caused this liquid to become perfect wax by the labor of bees: and who, on this day didst fulfill the petition of the righteous man Simeon: we humbly entreat Thee, that by the invocation of Thy most holy Name and through the intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin whose feast is today devoutly observed, and by the prayers of all Thy Saints, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless † and sanctify † these candles for the service of men and for the health of their bodies and souls, whether on land or on sea: and that Thou wouldst hear from Thy holy heaven, and from the throne of Thy Majesty the voices of this Thy people, who desire to carry them in their hands with honor, and to praise Thee with hymns; and wouldst be propitious to all that call upon Thee, Whom Thou hast redeemed with the precious Blood of Thy Son.
second prayer
Oremus. -- Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui hodierna die Unigenitum tuum ulnis sancti Simeonis in templo sancto tuo suscipiendum praesentasti: tuam supplices deprecamur clementiam; ut has candelas, quas nos famuli tui, in tui nominis magnificentiam sucipientes, gestare cupimus luce accensas, bene†dicere et sancti†ficare, atque lumine supernae benedictionis accendere digneris: quatenus eas tibi Domino Deo nostro offerendo digni, et sancto igne dulcissimae caritatis tuae succensi, in templo sancto gloriae tuae repraesentari mereamur Per eumdem Dominum nostrum.   O almighty and everlasting God, who on this day didst present Thine only-begotten Son in Thy holy temple to be received in the arms of holy Simeon: we humbly entreat Thy clemency, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless † and sanctify † and to kindle with the light of Thy heavenly benediction these candles, which we, Thy servants, desire to receive and to bear lighted in the honor of Thy Name: that, by offering them to Thee our Lord God, being worthily inflamed with the holy fire of Thy most sweet charity, we may deserve to be presented in the holy temple of Thy glory. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
third prayer
Oremus. -- Domine Jesu Christe, lux vera, quae illuminas omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum: effunde bene†dictionem tuam super hos cereos, et sancti†fica eos lumine gratiae tuae, et concede propitiusl ut, sicut haec luminaria igne visibili accensa nocturnas depellunt tenebras; ita corda nostra invisibili igne, id est Sancti Spiritus splendore illustrata, omnium vitorum caecitate careant: ut, purgato mentis oculo, ea cernere possimus quae tibi sunt placita, et nostrae saluti utilia; quatenus post hujus saeculi caliginosa discrimina, ad lucem indeficientem pervenire mereamur. Per te, Christe Jesu Salvator mundi, qui in Trinitate perfecta vivis et regnas Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.   O Lord Jesus Christ, the true Light who enlightenest every man that cometh into this world: pour forth Thy blessing † upon these candles, and sanctify † them with the light of Thy grace, and mercifully grant, that as these lights enkindled with visible fire dispel the darkness of night, so our hearts illumined by invisible fire, that is, by the splendor of the Holy Spirit, may be free from the blindness of all vice, that the eye of our mind being cleansed, we may be able to discern what is pleasing to Thee and profitable to our salvation; so that after the perilous darkness of this life we may deserve to attain to neverfailing light: through Thee, O Christ Jesus, Savior of the world, who in the perfect Trinity, livest and reignest, God, world without end.
fourth prayer
Oremus. -- Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui per Moysen famulum tuum purissimum oleo liquorem ad luminaria ante conspectum tuum jugiter concinnanda praeparari jussisti bene†dictionis tuae gratiam super hos cereos benignus infunde; quatenus sic administrent lumen exterius, ut te donante, lumen Spiritus tui nostris non desit mentibus interius. Per Dominum...in unitate ejusdem Spiritus Sancti.   O almighty and everlasting God, who by Thy servant Moses didst command the purest oil to be prepared for lamps to burn continuously before Thee: vouchsafe to pour forth the grace of Thy blessing † upon these candles: that they may so afford us light outwardly that by Thy gift, the gift of Thy Spirit may never be wanting inwardly to our minds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the same Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
fifth prayer
Oremus. -- Domine Jesu Christe, qui hodierna die in nostrae carnis substantia inter homines apparents, a parentibus in templo es praesentatus: quem Simeon venerabilis senex, lumine Spirtus tui irradiatus, agnovit, suscepit, et benedixit: praesta propitius; ut ejusdem Spiritus Sancti gratia illiminati, atque edocti, te veraciter agnoscamus et fideliter diligamus: Qui cum Deo Patre in unitate ejusdem Spiritus Sancti vivis et regnas Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.   O Lord Jesus Christ, who appearing on this day among men in the substance of our flesh, wast presented by Thy parents in the temple: whom the venerable and aged Simeon, illuminated by the light of Thy Spirit, recognized, received into his arms, and blessed: mercifully grant that, enlightened and taught by the grace of the same Holy Ghost, we may truly acknowledge Thee and faithfully love Thee; Who with God the Father in the unity of the same Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, world without end.
The Priest sprinkles the candles three times with holy water, saying the Antiphon Asperges me, and also incenses them thrice.
II. the distribution
During the distribution the choir sings the Canticle of Simeon.
antiphon
Lk. 2:32
Lumen ad revelationem gentium: et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.   A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.
the canticle of simeon
The Antiphon is repeated after each Versicle
V. Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine: secundum verbum tuum in pace.   V. Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace.
Lumen...   A light...
V. Quia viderunt oculi mei: salutare tuum.   V. Because mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.
Lumen...   A light...
V. Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum.   V. Which Thou hast prepared, before the face of all peoples.
Lumen...   A light...
V. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.   V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
Lumen...   A light...
V. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.   V. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Lumen...   A light...
V. Dominus vobiscum   V. The Lord be with you.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.   R. And with thy spirit
     
Oremus -- Exaudi, quaesumus, Domine, plebem tuam: et, quae extinsecus annua tribuis devotione vennua tribuis devotione venerari, interius assequi gratiae tuae luce concede. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.   Let us Pray -- We beseech Thee, O Lord, hearken unto Thy people, and grant that by the light of Thy grace, we may inwardly attain to those things which Thou grantest us outwardly to venerate by this yearly observance. Through Christ our Lord.
III. the procession
V. Procedamus in pace.   V. Let us go forth in peace.
R. In nomine Christi. Amen.   R. In the name of Christ. Amen.
The procession takes place in the usual order, all bearing the lighted candles: the following Antiphons are sung the while:
first antiphon
Adirba * thalamum tuum, Sion, et sucipe Regem Christum: amplectere Mariam, quae est coelestis porta: ipsa enim portat Regem gloriae novi luminis: subsistit Virgo, adducens manibus Filium ante luciferum genitum: quem accipiens Simeon in ulnas suas, praedicavit populis, Dominum eum esse vitae et mortis, et Salvatorem mundi.   Adorn thy bridal-chamber, O Sion, and welcome Christ the King: with loving embrace greet Mary who is the very gate of heaven; for she bringeth to thee the glorious King of the new light: remaining ever a Virgin yet she bearest in her arms the Son begotten before the day-star: even the Child, whom Simeon taking into his arms, declared to the peoples to be the Lord of life and death, and the Savior of the world.
second antiphon
Lk. 2:26,27,28-29
Reponsum * accepit Simeon a Spiritu Sancto, non visurum se mortem, nisi videret Christum Domini: et cum inducerent Puerum templum, accepit eum in ulnas suas, et benedixit Deum, et dixit: Nunc dimittis, servum tuum, Domine, in pace. cum inducerent puerum Jesum parentes ejus, ut facerent secundum consuetudinem legis pro eo, ipse accepit eum in ulnas suas.   Simeon received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord; and when they brought the Child into the temple, he took Him into His arms, and blessed God, and said: Now dost Thou dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace. V.: When His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him into His arms.
Responsory
Lk. 2:22-24
Upon entering the church, the choir sings.
Obtulerunt pro eo Domino par turturum, aut duos pullos columbarum: * Sicut scriptum est in lege Domini. Postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis Mariae, secundum legem Moysi, tulerunt Jesum in Jerusalem, ut sisterent eum Domino. * Sicut scriptum est in lege Domini. Gloria Patri... * Sicut scriptum est in lege Domini.   They offered for Him to the Lord a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons: * As it is written in the Law of the Lord. After the days of the purification of Mary, according to the law of Moses, were fulfilled, they carried Jesus to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord. * As it is written in the Law of the Lord. Glory be to the Father... * As it is written in the Law of the Lord.
iv. the mass
introit
Ps. 47:10-11,2
Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui: secundum nomen tuum, Deus, ita et laus tua in fines terrae: justitia plena est dextera tua. (Psalm) Magnus Dominus, et laudabilis nimis: in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto ejus. Gloria Patri. Suscepimus...   We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple; according to Thy Name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth; Thy right hand is full of justice. (Psalm) Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of God, in His holy mountain. We have received...
collect(s)
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, majestatem tuam supplices exoramus: ut, sicut unigenitus Filius tuus hodierna die cum nostrae carnis substantia in templo est praesentaus; ita nos facias purificatis tibi mentibus praesentari. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum. Almighty and everlasting God, we humbly beseech Thy Majesty, that as Thine only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so Thou wouldst cause us too to be presented unto Thee with purified hearts. Through the same Lord.
 
   
epistle
Mal. 3:1-4
Haec dicit Dominus Deus: Ecce ego mitto Angelum meum, et praeparabit viam ante faciem meam. Et statim viam ante faciem meam. Et statim veniet ad templum suum Dominator, quem vos quaeritis, et Angelus testamenti quem vos vultis. Ecce venit dicit Dominus exercituum: et quis poterit cogitare diem adventus ejus, et quis stabit ad videndum eum? Ipse enim quasi ignis ocnflans, et quasi herba fullonum: et sedebit conflans, et emundans argentum, et putgabit filios Levi et colabit eos quasi aurum et quasi argentum: et erunt Domino offerentes sacrificia in justitia. Et placebit Domino sacrificium Juda, et Jerusalem, sicut dies saeculi et sicut anni antiqui dicit Dominus omnopotens.   Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I send My Angel, and he shall prepare the way before My face; and presently the Lord, whom you seek, and the Angel of the testament, whom you desire, shall come to His temple. Behold He cometh, saith the Lord of hosts; and who shall be able to think of the day of His coming? and who shall stand to see Him? for He is like the fuller's herb; and He shall sit refining and cleansing the silver, and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine them as gold, and as silver, and they shall offer sacrifices to the Lord in justice. And the sacrifice of Juda and of Jerusalem shall please the Lord, as in the days of old, and in the ancient years; saith the Lord almighty.
gradual
Ps. 47:10-11,9
Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui: secundum nomen tuum, Deus, ita et laus tua in fines terrae. Sicut audivimus, ita et vidimus, in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto ejus.   We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple; according to Thy Name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth. As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of our God, and in His holy mountain.
Alleluia
St. Augustine
Alleluia, alleluia.  Senex puerum portabat: Puer autem senem regebat. Alleluia.   Alleluia, alleluia. The old man carried the Child, but the Child governed the old man. Alleluia.
gospel
Lk. 2:22-32
In illo tempore: Postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis Mariae, secundum legem Moysi, tulerunt Jesum in Jerusalem, ut sisterent eum Domino, sicut scriptum est in lege Domini: Quia omne masculinum adaperiens vulvam sanctum Domino vocabitur. Et ut darent hostiam secundum quod dictum est in lege Domini, par turturum aut duos pullos columbarum. Et ecce homo erat in Jerusalem, cui nomen Simeon, et hom iste justus et timoratus, exspectans consolationem Israel, et Spiritus Sanctus erat in eo. Et responsum acceperat a Spirtu Sancto, non visurum se mortem, nisi prius videret Christum Domini. Et venit in spiritu in templum. Et cum induycerent puerum Jesum parentes ejus, ut facerent secundum consuetudinem legis pro eo: et ipse accepit eum in ulneas suas, et benedixit Deum, et dixit: Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace: Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum: Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.   At that time, after the days of Mary's purification according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried Jesus 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 sacrifice, according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons. And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Ghost was in him: and he received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he also took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples; a light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.
offertory
Ps. 44:3
Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis: propterea benedixit te Deus in aeternum, et in saeculum saeculi.   Grace is poured abroad in thy lips; therefore hath God blessed thee forever, and for ages of ages.
Secret(s)
Exaudi, Domine, preces nostra: et, ut digna sint munera, quae oculis tuae majestatis offerimus, subsidium nobis tuae pietatis impende. Per Dominum nostrum. O Lord, graciously hear our prayers; and that the gifts we offer in the sight of Thy Majesty may be found worthy, grant us the help of Thy mercy. Through our Lord.
 
   
Preface
Preface of the Nativity
Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: Quia per incarnati Verbi mysterium nova mentis nostrae oculis lux tuae claritatis infulsit: ut, dum visibiliter Deum cognoscimus, per hunc in invisibilum amorem rapiamur. Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis, cum Thronis et Dominationibus, cumque omni militari coelestis exercitus, hymnum gloriae tuae canimus sine fine dicentes:   It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love of things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Throne and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
communion
Lk. 2:26
Responsum accepit Simeon a Spiritu Sancto, non visurum se mortem, nisi videret Christum Domini.   Simeon received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, until he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
postcommunion(s)
Quaesumus, Domine Deus noster: ut sacrosancta mysteria, quae pro reparationis nostrae munimine contulisti intercedente beata Maria semper Virgine, et praesens nobis remedium esse facias, et futurum. Per Dominum nostrum.   We beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that the most holy Mysteries, which Thou hast given us as a safeguard for our regenerated nature, may, through the intercession of blessed Mary ever Virgin, be to us a healing remedy, both for the present and for the future. Through our Lord.
 
   
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