This is a reminder that there will be a Missa Cantata at St Dominic’s Church, Dursley on Sunday 2nd February at 5:30 pm to celebrate the Feast of The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple and The Purification of Our Lady, otherwise known as Candlemas. This marks the end of the 40 day Christmas celebration.
In accordance with Jewish Law a first-born son was considered to belong to God and therefore was ‘ransomed’ back by the making of a sacrificial offering. Firstly though, the mother would have to go through a 40 day purification period before being allowed in the Temple. Therefore, 40 days after giving birth to the Child Jesus Mary took Him to the Temple to be redeemed and St Joseph offered two turtle doves in sacrifice. At that time an upright man named Simeon had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Christ Child anointed. Drawn by the Holy Spirit to the Temple he was able to hold the Child Jesus in his arms and through the Holy Spirit he spoke the prophetic words of the ‘Nunc Dimittis’.
This celebration is also called Candlemas as it is associated with Christ, the Light of the World, entry into the Temple. The Mass begins with the blessing of candles and the people then come forward to receive a candle. This will be followed by a procession (weather permitting) where the Nunc Dimittis is sung and then the Mass itself.
Please do come along and support this Mass. There will be refreshments afterwards in the Church Hall.