What does the feast of the presentation of the Lord?
The feast of Candlemas, celebrated on February 15th (old style – 2 February) is among the great twelve great feasts of the Orthodox Church. In Eastern countries, Candlemas is known from IV and V. in the West since the fifth century. This holiday was established to honor the memory of one of the most significant events in the history of the relationship of God with humanity.
In the Church of the virgin Mary and Joseph met Simeon, who, according to the beliefs of the Orthodox faith, was one of the translators of the Holy Scriptures of the old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. Once, as a young, Simeon worked on the translation of the book of Isaiah, he doubted the prophecy that Christ was to be born of an earthly woman. He even wanted to fix the text, but in that moment, Simeon angel appeared and said that because of his doubt, he will not die until such time as your eyes will not see the Savior.
Turning her eyes on the Baby, Simeon realized that this is a long-awaited miracle. Guided by the divine Providence, the Holy one took him up and said the following words: “You Now dismiss Your servant, Lord, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples…”. Witness this great event was and the elderly prophetess Anna, who was always in the temple, almost all the time spending in fervent and sincere prayers to the Lord.
According to the testimony of history, 544 G. in Byzantium, it was decided to celebrate the Presentation of the Lord more solemnly. The fact that the country one by one hit by the disaster: natural disasters, unknown diseases, carried off several thousand people a day. In 544 G. Christians was a sign, after which they solemnly made all-night vigil and procession, and disaster soon ceased, and in gratitude to God Candlemas day was celebrated with great fanfare.
In the feast of the meeting at Church services, it is customary to bless the candles. This custom originates from the ancient tradition to make this day a festive procession through the city with lighted candles and lamps, many of which are similar to the procession. In Candlemas prayer chants asks Christians to lighted candles, its light dispersed the darkness of night and ignorance in our souls. Candlemas candle is a symbol of enlightenment and blessing of the soul by the Holy Spirit.
Main revered Shrine of the visitation is the icon of the Theotokos “Softener of evil hearts” or “Simeon’s prophecy”. The basis of the iconography of this holiday was the gospel of St. Luke: all the icons of the presentation of the key action is the image transfer of the blessed Virgin Baby Simeon, while behind her – the righteous Joseph, who holds in his hands a few pigeons, and behind – the prophetess Anna.
The word “purification” from the old word that means “meeting” and “joy”. It was a meeting not only of Saint Simeon with the miracle he had been waiting for my whole life, but meeting the Savior with the world. And this meeting is always open to us as true joy.
No wonder the day of the presentation of the Lord modern properties often think of the parable of the meeting in the temple of the publican and the Pharisee. Publican lived very modestly, not respected, was a nobody love, but always sincerely helped others and was happy for that. The tax collector saw himself as unworthy to live in this world and did not even dare to enter the temple of God, because he is powerless sinner. The Pharisee tried to live as a righteous man who did good deeds, helped people, but regarded them as unworthy and sinful, and all his good deeds were motivated solely by pride. Thus, it would seem that the life of the righteous Pharisee was comparable to the life of the sinner, but the humble publican was saved…
And every one of us is always open the path that the Lord has blessed for your compassion, concern for others and forgiveness. ]