Renaissance Candlemas concert: Beautiful music in a beautiful cathedral space
Friday, February 7 at 8 PM
Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul
CANDLEMAS – A Midwinter Holiday
The word Candlemas is derived from the Middle English word candelmasse, in turn descended from Old English, candelmæsse, built on the words candel + mæsse (candle+mass = candle-feast). The word Candlemas appears in English usage before the twelfth century. The spelling Candle Mass has also been used.
Candlemas is an ancient Christian feast day, also known as the Feast of the Purification of Mary, or the Feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. It occurs on February 2, forty days after Christmas, and commemorates Mary’s submitting herself to ritual purification after the birth of her son Jesus, in accordance with Mosaic Law. It also commemorates the meeting with the aged priest Simeon, who, upon seeing Mary’s infant son, proclaimed him as the “Light to the gentiles.” Because of this, the feast has always involved a celebration of light. The most famous of the customs—and the one from which the feast gained its common name—is that of the blessing of, and procession with, candles.