Start Date: 02 February 2019
End Date: 02 February 2019
Place: 365 Burrows Ave.
Known originally as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is a relatively ancient celebration. The Church at Jerusalem observed the feast as early as the first half of the fourth century, and likely earlier. The feast celebrates the presentation of Christ in the temple at Jerusalem on the 40th day after His birth.
According to Jewish law, the firstborn male child belonged to God, and the parents had to “buy him back” by offering a sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24) in the temple. On that same day, the mother would be ritually purified.
Saint Mary and Saint Joseph kept this law, even though, since Saint Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, she would not have had to go through ritual purification. In his gospel, Luke recounts the story (Luke 2:22-39).
When Christ was presented in the temple, “there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25). When Saint Mary and Saint Joseph brought Christ to the temple, Simeon embraced the Child and prayed: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).