Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Candlemas

posted on Saturday 2nd February 2008

Candlemas is a celebration of the middle of winter and the return of the sun. It falls at the half-way point between the winter solstice (the shortest day) and the spring equinox. The pre-Christian celebration was a festival of light. This day is also known as Imbolc and is an ancient Celtic festival which celebrates the transformation of winter into spring.

In the Christian church, Candlemas marks the purification of Mary forty days after giving birth and the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, where she was told that he would be a ‘light unto the world’. As with other Christian festivals, some elements are drawn from paganism and Candlemas marks the day when traditionally, the church’s supply of candles were blessed for the year.

Blessed be the earth, and all who dwell upon it.We give thanks for the season now departing from us,For the blessings it has bestowed upon us,And upon those with whom we share this world.

Blessed be the new season.We pray that it will be a time filled with peace,With abundance, with prosperity,With wisdom,With love.

Blessed be all who share this feast.Let us now prepare for the time aheadBy opening our hearts, and our minds, and our spirits.

Blessed be.

Traditonal blessing for celebrating the end of winter

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