15 February 2015 — CANDLEMAS

There are Christian holidays that they know everything. And can you briefly describe what, in fact, say believers. Christmas — Christ was born. Easter — Christ is risen. What is Candlemas? That generally means it is unusual for modern man the word "Candlemas"? Offer you to get acquainted with the chronology of the presentation and see what mark this day the new Testament the history of the left in world culture. WHAT DOES THE WORD "MEET"?

The most frequent question you hear about the presentation: "So, okay, today is Candlemas. And what is it?"

Candlemas is one of the Great feasts of the Christian Church, that is the main festivals of the Church year. It neperehodimyh holiday Pravoslavnoi in the Russian Church it is celebrated on February 15.

Translated from Church Slavonic "Syrena" — "the meeting". The day of the meeting — the point in time where they met old and New Testaments. Ancient world and Christianity. It happened thanks to a man who in the gospel is reserved a very special place. But about all under the order.

Pietro Cavallini. "The cycle of mosaics with six scenes from the life of Mary in the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome, Candlemas"

The purifying sacrifice of the blessed virgin

On February 15 we commemorate the events described in the gospel of Luke. The presentation took place 40 days after Christmas.

The Jews at that time was the two traditions connected with the birth of a child.

First, a woman after childbirth could not appear in the Temple of Jerusalem forty days (and if born a girl — and then eighty). As soon as the term expired, the mother was to bring to the Temple purification sacrifice. It included the burnt offering — a yearling lamb, and the sacrifice for the remission of sins — bird. If the family was poor, instead of the lamb also brought the dove was "a pair of turtledoves or two nestling pigeons."

Second, if in the family the firstborn was a boy, parents on the fortieth day came with a newborn in the Temple for the rite of consecration to God. It was not just a tradition, and the law of Moses: its the Jews established in memory of the Exodus of Jews from Egypt — liberation from four centuries of slavery.

And so, Mary and Joseph came from Bethlehem in Israel's capital Jerusalem. Forty days with the infant in her arms they set foot on the threshold of the Temple. The family lived a wealthy life, so the cleansing sacrifice of the virgin dove became two. The virgin decided to make a sacrifice out of humility and respect before the law of the Jews, despite the fact that Jesus was born as the result of immaculate conception.

MEETING IN the JERUSALEM TEMPLE After the rite of the Holy Family were already heading towards the entrance of the Temple, but then they were approached by a very old man, perhaps the oldest man in Jerusalem. His name was Simeon. Translated from the Hebrew "šim'on" means "hearing". The righteous took the Baby in his arms and joyfully exclaimed: "Now dismiss Thy servant, o Lord, according to Thy word, in peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel" (LK 2:29-32).

According to legend, at the time of the meeting with Christ, Simeon was more than 300 years. He was a respected man, one of the seventy two scholars, who were commissioned to translate the Scriptures from Hebrew into Greek. The translation of the Septuagint was made at the request of the Egyptian king Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-247 BC).

This Saturday the elder was in the Temple, it is no coincidence that the Holy Spirit led him. Many years ago, Simeon was translating the book of the prophet Isaiah and saw the mysterious words: "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son". As a virgin, that is, a virgin could give birth? The scientist questioned and wanted to correct the "maid" to "Wife" (woman). But an angel appeared to him and not just forbidden to change the word, but said that Simeon would not die until I will be convinced that the prophecy is true. This writes the Evangelist, "He was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It was predicted to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he seen the Lord's Christ" (LK 2:25-26).

And so, the day came. Turned that the scientist was waiting for all his back-breaking long life. Simeon picked up the Baby, born of the virgin, and that the prophecy of the angel was fulfilled. The old man could die in peace. "Now dismiss Thy servant, o Lord...", the Church named him Simeon the God-receiver and glorified as a Saint.

Bishop Theophan the recluse wrote: "In the person of Simeon the entire old Testament, unredeemed humanity, the world fades into eternity, giving way to Christianity...". The memory of this gospel story every day sounds in the Orthodox Liturgy. This is the Song of Simeon the righteous or otherwise — "Now lettest thou depart".

"YOU a sword WILL pierce the SOUL" Taking from the hands of the blessed virgin of the Infant, the elder Simeon addressed her with the words: "Behold, He will argue: some will be saved and others will perish. And You weapon will pass soul may be revealed the thoughts of many hearts" (LK 2:34-35).

Disputes among the people is the persecution that was destined Savior. Opening thoughts — the judgment of God. What kind of weapons will pierce the heart of Mary? It was a prophecy of the Crucifixion that awaited her Son. After all, the nails and the spear, which took the death of the Savior, have been unbearable pain through her maternal heart. There is the icon of the virgin — a vivid illustration of this prophecy. It's called the "Softener of evil hearts". Icon painters depicted the virgin standing on a cloud with family stuck in the heart with swords.

ANNA the PROPHETESS the day of the presentation in the temple of Jerusalem there was another meeting. To mother came the 84-year-old widow, "daughter of Phanuel". The townspeople called her Anna the prophetess for inspirational speeches about God. For many years she lived and worked at the Church, as the Evangelist Luke writes, "fasting and prayer serving God day and night" (Luke 2:37 – 38).

Anna the prophetess they worshiped the newborn Christ and came out of the Temple, carrying the townspeople about the news of the coming of the Messiah, the deliverer of Israel. And the Holy Family returned to Nazareth, as he performed all the provisions of the law of Moses.

The meaning of the FEAST of the MEETING by Archpriest Igor Fomin, rector of the Church of Alexander Nevsky at MGIMO, a cleric of the Cathedral of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God on red square.

Purification is encounter with God. The elder Simeon and the Prophetess Anna have left their names in Scripture because you gave us an example of how to receive the Lord with a pure and open heart.

After meeting with Christ, Simeon went to the fathers, to wait the resurrection of Christ. And, imagine, death was for him a great happiness! The righteous elder lived a long life — according to legend, he was more than three hundred years. Many will say "lucky" because my dream is to live forever. But read the stories of centenarians who have exceeded the age allotted to man by God, a hundred and twenty years. I remember one TV programs: the ancient lady journalists brought great-great-granddaughter, who is also not young. A hunched grandmother straightened and said, "your television come. What can you say?" And she said, "I was angry with the Lord? Why He don't arrest me?" And Simeon waited for deliverance from the burden of long life. And, taking from the hands of the virgin Mary of the infant, rejoiced.

"Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant," says Simeon. Now that he saw the Savior, the Lord releases him from the mortal world — in the Heavenly world. So we, once met God, we need to understand the time of the sin, weaknesses and self passed. It is time bliss!

It is no coincidence that the Presentation happens with a forty-day Baby. It is small and defenseless, but at the same time is great and full of triumphant joy. This should be a person who learns of Christ is a newborn Christian. Full of glee.

The presentation is not just a day far from new Testament history. At least once in the life of any person is in the house of God in the temple. There everyone has his own Meet — meeting with Christ. How to understand whether there was in your life Meeting? Very simple — ask yourself: if I'm joyful? changed I? how in my heart of love? Let us meet the Lord, we see His heart!

The SONG of SIMEON the righteous the Song of Symeon the God-receiver, or "Lord, Now lettest thou...", — these are the words of Symeon the God-receiver from the gospel of Luke.

For the first time this prayer was mentioned in the Apostolic decretals. In the Russian Orthodox Church the words of Symeon the God-receiver during the service read, not sing, unlike Catholics, for example. This happens at the end of Vespers. In addition, the Orthodox say, "Lord, Now lettest thou..." during the sacrament of Baptism — but only for infant boys.



Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant, o Lord, the verb Thy word;

widest thou mine eyes Thy salvation,

hedgehog thou hast prepared before the face of all people

the light of revelation languages, and the glory of Thy people Israel.


Now dismiss Thy servant, o Lord, according to Thy word, in peace,

for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation,

which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples,

a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.

The history of CELEBRATING the feast of the presentation of the Lord — one of the most ancient in the Christian Church. First Candlemas sermon before the people, said even the IV-V centuries — for example, saints Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory the Theologian, Gregory of Nyssa and John Chrysostom.

The oldest and historically reliable evidence about the celebration of Candlemas in the Christian East is a "Pilgrimage to the Holy places". It was written by the pilgrim Etheria (Silvia) at the end of the IV century. She writes: "this day is a procession to the Anastasis, and all the marching and all is done in order with the greatest solemnity, like Easter. All the presbyters preach, and then Bishop... then, sending everything in the usual order, conduct the Liturgy".

Holiday became national for the Byzantine Empire in the VI century. Following this tradition, the solemn celebration of the presentation has spread throughout the Christian world.

The LITURGY of CANDLEMAS, the presentation of the Lord — the same place in the Church calendar. February 15 (February 2, old style). If Candlemas falls on a Monday first week of lent, which happens very rarely, vigil transferred to the previous day — February 14.

Candlemas — feast of the Manor, that is dedicated to Jesus Christ. But in the first centuries of Christianity in this day is to honor the mother of God. Therefore, those who say that this Marian celebration will be partly right.

Meet close to the holidays in honor of the Mother of God and system of worship. In the troparion of the feast, in prokino at Matins and the Liturgy, the hymns and other appeals to the virgin Mary occupy a Central place.

Interestingly, the duality of the presentation influenced the color of the vestments of priests in the festive service. They can be white — as in the Lord's feasts, and blue — as in the virgin Mary. In the tradition of the Church, white symbolizes the Divine light. Blue — purity and chastity of the virgin Mary.

The CUSTOM of blessing the CANDLES the Custom of the Church to bless candles on the feast of the presentation of the Lord came into the Orthodox Church from the Catholics. It happened in 1646, when the Metropolitan of Kiev Metropolitan Peter (Mogila) made and published his Missal. In it the author described the Catholic rite of processions with lighted lamps. With such a torchlight procession by the Roman Church tried to distract their flock from pagan festivals associated with the worship of fire. These days, the pagan Celts celebrated Imbolc, the Romans, Lupercalia (a festival connected with the pastoral cult), the Slavs — Granicy. Interestingly, in Poland after the adoption of Christianity the Presentation became known as the feast Granichnoi the Mother of God. It is an echo of the myths about God gromovnik and his wife — the people believed that Candlemas candles can protect the house from lightning and fire.

To Candlemas candles in the Orthodox Church got special treatment — not magically, but reverently. Kept them all year long and lit during prayer at home.

The FOLK TRADITION of the PRESENTATION IN the folk traditions of the celebration of the presentation mixed ecclesiastical and pagan. Some of these customs are quite non-Christian, but even they say about this day is something important for people, he was very joyful.

The meeting of the Holy Family with the elder Simeon was a simple calendar analogy. On this day, the common people began to celebrate winter and spring. Hence many sayings: "on Candlemas winter with spring met", "to Meet the sun in summer, winter on a frost".

The last winter frosts and the first spring thaw was called Candlemas. After the feast, the peasants have developed a lot of "spring" things. Drove the cattle out of the barn into the corral, preparing seeds for sowing, bleached fruit trees. And of course, in addition to works on agriculture, the villages held festivals.

3 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE MEET 1. In honor of the presentation named many localities in Russia and abroad. The largest is the city of Sretensk, the regional centre of Chita region.

2. In the United States and Canada for the feast of the presentation, which it is celebrated 2 February, is dedicated to the famous folk festival — Groundhog Day.

3. Candlemas in some countries also the Day of Orthodox youth. The idea of this festival belongs to the world Orthodox Youth Movement — "SYNDESMOS". In 1992, with the blessing of all the local Orthodox Churches "SYNDESMOS" approved February 15 as the Day of Orthodox youth.

ICON of the presentation of the Iconography of the presentation is the illustration of the narrative of the Evangelist Luke. The virgin Mary gives the Christ child in the hands of Simeon — this is the main plot of the icons and frescoes of the holiday. Behind virgin Mary is depicted as Joseph the betrothed; it is in the hands or in a cage the two doves. Behind Simeon write Anna the prophetess.


The oldest image of the presentation can be found in one of the mosaics of the triumphal arch in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The mosaic was created in the first half of the V century. In it we see how the mother of God walks with the Baby in her arms to meet the Holy Simeon — accompanied by angels.

Meet. Mosaic of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. V century

Dnevnie image of the presentation of events in Russia — two frescoes of the XII century. The first was in St. Cyril's Church in Kiev. The second in the Church of the Savior on Nereditsa in Novgorod. Interestingly, the fresco interior of the temple the Baby is not sitting, and lying at the hands of the virgin.

In the temple of the virgin. Presentation Of The Lord. Frescoes of the Savior on the Nereditsa Church near Novgorod. 1199

An unusual variant of the iconography of the presentation of the medieval Georgian art. These icons no picture of the altar, instead — burning candle, symbol of sacrifice to God.

With the event of the presentation of the associated icon of the Theotokos "Softener of evil hearts", also called "Simeon proracuna". Iconic story reminds us of the words of Simeon the righteous, dedicated to the virgin Mary: "And You yourself a sword will pierce the soul".

By the way, this image is very similar to the mother of God icon "seven arrows". But there is one difference. Arrows, piercing the heart of Mary, located on the icon "Softener of evil hearts" at the three on the right and on the left, one on the bottom. The "seven arrows" icon — four arrows from one side and three on the other.

QUOTES: THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE. Word ON the PRESENTATION of the LORD "...We are all called not only to the mental representation of this world but to the real eating, because everyone is called to have and to carry the Lord and to disappear in Him all the forces of his spirit. And when we reach this state, then our bliss is not the lower will be the bliss of those who participated in the Presentation of the Lord..."

METROPOLITAN ANTHONY of SOUROZH ON the FEAST "...with Him in the victim as it is sacrificed and mother. Simeon the God-receiver, She says, But You will be the heart of the weapon, You go through the anguish and suffering... And as the years pass and Christ hanging on the cross, dying, and the mother of God stands at the cross silently, without complaining, full faith, full hope, full of love giving It at the death as She brought Him to the temple as a living sacrifice to the living God.

Many mothers over the centuries have experienced the horror of how their son died; many mothers have passed the weapon through the heart. All she can understand, She embraces all with His love, all She can in a silent mystery of communication to reveal the depth of this sacrifice.

Let those who die a terrible and painful death, remember Christ crucified and give his life as the Son of God made son of man, gave it: without anger, meekly, lovingly, for the salvation of not only those who were close to Him, but anyone who was his enemy, the last words of extracting them from destruction: father, forgive them, they know not what they do!

And mothers whose sons whose children die by an evil death — God's mother could teach you how to give a feat to the suffering and death of those whom they most of all on earth and in eternity love...

Therefore, all reverently bow to the Mother of God in the cross of Her suffering, in Her crucified love, in Her infinite sacrifice, and Christ the Savior, Who today brought to the temple, and the sacrifice Which will be made at Calvary. The ends over the old Testament, began a new life of love in life and in death, we belong to this life".

ARCHBISHOP LUKE (VOYNO-YASENETSKY). WORD IN the DAY of visitation "IN a world of deep peace the world had gone to eternity, Saint Simeon the God-receiver after the 300-year life in anticipation of the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaia: "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, hedgehog has kasemo, "God with us".

Why are you now constantly hear this prayer? Why it is like no other, is repeated for each evening?

Then in order to remember the hour of death to remember that you must die in a deep world since the death of Saint Simeon the God-receiver...

... If you want to make sure that you have fulfilled the words of the prayer of Simeon the righteous, if you want to have confidence in the hour of death, to repeat his prayer and say, "Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant, o Lord, according to Your verb with the world," if you want that, go to Christ, taking His yoke on themselves, pouches from Him for He is meek and lowly in heart."




When She is in Church for the first time made
Child, were inside of the number
people who were there all the time,
Saint Simeon and the prophetess Anna.

And the elder took the Baby from the hands
Mary; and three people around
Baby stood, as unsteady frame,
that morning, lost in the gloom of the temple.

The temple was surrounded them as the eerie woods.
From the looks of the people and from the eyes of heaven
the top secret of being able to prostrate,
that morning Maria, the prophetess, the elder.

And only on the crown of the random beam
the light fell the Baby; but He about anything
did not know still snoring sleepily,
resting on the strong arms of Simeon.

And it was told the old man this,
that he will see death in the darkness
not before the Son will see the Lord.
Happened. And the elder said: "Today,

once the spoken word keeping,
You with the world, Lord, let me go,
then my eyes saw it
Child: He Is Thy continuation and light

source for honoring the idols of the tribes,
and the glory of Israel in It." — Simeon
was umolknut. The silence surrounded.
Only the echo of those words, touching the rafters

swirled some time later
over their heads, rustling slightly
under the arches of the temple as a kind of bird
that the power to fly, but not down.

And strange they were. There was silence
no less strange than it. Embarrassed
Maria was silent. "What kind of word -..."
And the elder said, turning to Mary:

"Lying now upon Your
the fall of some, the rise of others
sign of contradiction and a reason for discord.
And the same weapon, Maria, who

tormented His flesh will be Yours
the soul will be injured. Rana siya
will give You to see what is hidden deep
in the hearts of the people, as a kind of eye."

He finished and moved toward the door. After
Maria, hunched, and the weight of years
bent Anna silently watched.
He went on, decreasing in importance and in the body

for these two women in the shadow of the columns.
Almost customize their views, he
walked in this empty temple
belisama vaguely to the doorway.

And an old man's pace was solid.
Only the voice of the prophetess back when
came, he held his step a bit:
but there not called him a God

the prophetess of praise has already started.
And the door was approaching. Clothes and brow
the wind touched, and ears stubbornly
broke the noise of life behind the walls of the temple.

He was going to die. And not in a street rumble
he opened the door with his hands, stepped,
but the deaf and dumb in the possession of death.
He walked in space, deprived of the firmament,

he heard no longer the sound.
And the image of a Baby with halo
fluffy crown death trail
Simeon's soul carried before him

as a lamp, into the black darkness,
which hitherto anyone yet
the road itself fill not happened.
Lamp of light, and the trail widened.

16 February 1972.


Author: Elizabeth Kiktenko


P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©


Source: foma.ru/15-fevralya-2013-sretenie-gospodne.html


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