The Presentation of the Lord: An Epiphany in February

What is the reason we commemorate the feast of the Presentation?

For us, this special occasion honors when baby Jesus was taken to the Temple and Mary was purified, following a tradition from the Mosaic Law 40 days after a child's birth. The Church marks the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, also known as Candlemas because people light candles.

In the Church, we often celebrated this event on February 14, 40 days after Epiphany, in line with the Eastern tradition of celebrating Christmas on that day. In the Orthodox communities, we called it the Hypapante, meaning the "Meeting" of the Lord with Simeon.


What is the importance of the Presentation of Jesus?

When Jesus was presented in the temple, he was shown that he was the Firstborn Son who belonged to the Lord. With Simeon and Anna, everyone in Israel was hoping to meet their Savior, as the Byzantine tradition calls it the "Meeting."

We acknowledged Jesus as the awaited Messiah, the "light of the nations," and the "glory of Israel." However, we also see him as a "sign of contradiction." The pain Mary was told about is like a preview of another offering – the Cross – which will bring the salvation God had prepared "before all peoples."

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