Normally at the beginning of the celebration of Mass on today’s feast of the Presentation of the Lord we have the blessing of candles and a Procession.
This feast is often known as Candlemas. Sadly this year, become of the Covid 19 restrictions we are not able to have a procession. Our Archbishop, in a letter to the priests wrote:
“Given the present Covid regulations, care should be given with respect to the usual blessing and carrying of candles and the procession which normally takes place on the Feast of the Presentation. Please consider whether candles can be given safely to the congregation and, on this occasion, omit this, with one candle held by the priest representatively for all. There should be no blowing out of candles within the body of the congregation as this may involve spreading aerosols (small respiratory droplets) which can transmit infection.”
Do not be dismayed. Those who come to Mass this lunchtime at St Thomas of Canterbury will be able to take away a new blessed candle at the end of Mass which I would encourage at some moment in the day to be lit at home and that one would pray the prayer that is part of the blessing:
“O God, true light, who create light external, spreading it far and wide, pour, we pray, into the hearts of the faithful, the brilliance of perpetual light, so that all who are brightened in your holy temple by the splendour of these candles may happily reach the light of your glory.”
As Mary and Joseph presented their first born to the Lord in the Temple may we who are a gift from God, offer ourselves back to the Lord as gift.
As gift we receive you, O Christ our light.
As gift we offer all to you, O Christ our light.
As gift we share you as light and salvation for all.