Candlemas, or Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Feb. 2

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“The presentation of Christ in the Temple,” one of the bottom panels of “Altar of the Dominicans” was painted by Hans Holbein the Elder (1465-1524) from 1500-01. (Public Domain/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

This feast commemorates the presentation of Jesus to the Temple. Mary and Joseph brought Him to the temple to follow the customs. It was on this occasion when Simeon, who had been promised he’d see the Messiah before he died, declared, “Lord, now you may let your servant go in peace, your word has been fulfilled. My own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel” (Lk 2:29-32). It is this canticle that is recited every night by all clergy and religious in the Liturgy of the Hours.

Vigil Mass for the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple and World Day of Consecrated Life

6 p.m., Feb. 1

Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral,6351 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix

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This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. In 1997, St. John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life to be celebrated on this day, as well, because those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. The celebration of the World Day for Consecrated Life is typically transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons.

In the Diocese of Phoenix, there will be a Vigil Mass for the Presentation of Our Lord and World Day of Consecrated Life at 6 p.m., Feb. 1, at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. The Rite of Lights, a procession with blessed candles that are lit will also be held.