To ensure as many people as possible took part in the Candlemass Ceremonies it was transferred to this Sunday. We started in the Church Hall with the blessing of candles and then led by the Thurifer we processed to church; during the procession Father Mervyn intoned the Nunc Dimittis. Father Martin presided and Father Mervyn concelebrated, read the Gospel, preached and led the Intercessions.
In his sermon Father Mervyn recalled the three ceremonies which were observed under the Law of Moses at the birth of a first son: circumcision 8 days after birth, the payment of five shekels to redeem the boy from the priesthood, and the purification where the woman makes a sacrificial offering of a lamb and a turtledove or young pigeon or, if the parents were poor, the substitution of a second pigeon or dove in place of the lamb. It is significant that Mary and Joseph make the poor peoples offering. There was also a tradition in Jerusalem of bringing a child to an elderly Rabbi to bless and pray for him and this may have been the role fulfilled by Simeon. The Feast of Candlemass finishes our celebration of Christmas and reminds us that the penitential season of Lent starts in a few weeks time with Ash Wednesday when we recall the pain and suffering of Jesus which resulted in the glory of His resurrection at Easter.
Yesterday’s Saturday shop took £196.
ASH WEDNESDAY 22nd February
Sung Mass with Blessing & Imposition of Ashes 7.30 p.m.
Please return last year’s Palm Crosses by Sunday 19th February.