The Holy Family leaves Bethlehem
Today is Candlemas and forty days since the birth of Jesus.
We now remember Holy Family leaving Bethlehem and taking Jesus into the Temple in Jerusalem to give thanks for his birth.
He would return on the first Palm Sunday 33 years later and today’s readings link us to Holy Week.
This is Candlemas because by tradition today many candles are lit at Mass and there can be a blessing of new candles including sometimes the big Easter candle to be lit in April.
Some Anglican churches are keeping Candlemas, or the Presentation of the Lord, on Sunday tomorrow. A few, like St Stephen’s in Bournemouth, are oberving it on both days.
At Ripon Cathedral, which always has the most candles, the Sung Eucharist is at 7.30pm tonight (Saturday).