Meeting of the Lord in the Temple

Greetings on The Meeting of the Lord in the Temple!

When Jesus was forty days old, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph the Betrothed brought Christ to the temple in order to fulfill the law and dedicate Him to God. 

The celebration of the Meeting of the Lord in the church is not merely a historical commemoration. Inspired by the same Holy Spirit as Simeon, and led by the same Spirit into the Church of the Messiah, the members of the Church also can claim their own “meeting” with the Lord, and so also can witness that they too can “depart in peace” since their eyes have seen the salvation of God in the person of his Christ. ~

On today’s Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, when the heavens meet the earth, God meets man, history meets eternity, when – as our people beautifully say – spring and winter meet, may we also open our hearts for an encounter with the Lord… Open your hearts, listen to the depths of your thoughts, desires, feelings, anticipations, nostalgias, yearnings, the pursuits of your hearts. For our hearts are created in the image of God and they yearn for God; the truth is often buried in passions, desires, appetites, ambitions, prejudices. Let us free ourselves of them and meet the Lord, for He always comes to meet us. He is the One who came, who is with us, Who always comes to be with us. ~ Bishop Atanasije (Homily on the Meeting of our Lord, Orthodox Christianity website)

Let us not only dedicate our little children in imitation of Christ’s dedication, but let us dedicate ourselves – perhaps again, perhaps for the first time – so that we may also be found held in the arms of the righteous Simeon, so that we also may see the salvation that he saw and know the mercy and peace and  beauty of the Lord that will last not only into our departure from this life as it did with him, but also through all eternity. ~ Father Andrew Stephen Damick

The important thing is for us to enter into the Church (temple) – to unite ourselves with our fellow men, with the joys and sorrows of each and everyone, to feel that they are our own, to pray for everyone, to have care for their salvation, to forget about ourselves, to do everything for them just as Christ did for us. In the Church we become one with each unfortunate, suffering and sinful soul. ~ Elder Porphyrios (Wounded by Love)

Festal Resource Page

Happy Feast!

Today, I hope to (as a dear friend used to say), “go get some sun on my face,” and pick a small bouquet of Snowdrops – Candlemas Bells.

With Love in Christ.

How Can I Hold Thee?

Detail from Icon – Greece 2017

St. Luke 2: 22-40 describes the Feast of the Presentation of the Infant Jesus Into the Temple. (February 15/2)

When Jesus was forty days old, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph the Betrothed brought Christ to the temple, in order to fulfill the law and dedicate Him to God. 

The Orthodox Christian tradition of Churching a mother on her return to church with her child for a blessing, 40 days after the birth of the baby, comes from the Jewish rite observed in this feast. 

Sharing one of the many beautiful hymns for this Feast written by 9th Century female saint, St. Kassiani:

How can I hold Thee as a Child,
Thou, who holdest everything together?
How do I bring Thee to the temple,
Thou, who art beyond goodness?
How do I deliver Thee into the arms of the elder,
Thou, who sitteth in the bosom of the Father?
How dost Thou endure purification,
Thou, who purifieth the whole corrupt nature?”
So sayeth the Virgin, the temple, who containeth God –
Marveling at Thy great condescension, O Christ.

Since 450 AD, church candles are also blessed on this day, because of elder St. Simeon’s reference to Christ as a Light of revelation to the Gentiles. (Candlemas)

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