Candlemas: Celebrating Light!


February 2—the Feast of the Presentation—is also traditionally known as “Candlemas,” the day on which the candles we use at home are blessed. This tradition is inspired by a line from the Gospel for the Feast of the Presentation in which Simeon, a devout man whom Joseph and Mary encounter at the Temple, explains that Jesus will be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles.” (Luke 2:32)

This feast falls at a time of the year when we are still obsessed with the lack of light we have been enduring for some months now. In fact, the day falls at the halfway point of the winter solstice and the spring equinox, which explains why, like Christmas, it is another opportunity for us to focus on the light of Christ coming into the world. As we are beginning to see the signs of increasing daylight, we recognize that it is time to come out of our “hibernation” and make the most of the day.

Candlemas provides you with an opportunity to invite those you teach to celebrate the light of Christ by making a candle of their own. Here’s one of my favorites (because it involves food!) from Catholic Cuisine.

Here is a blessing of candles from Catholic Doors Ministry.

Finally, here is some good background on the Feast of the Presentation from A Jesuit’s Blog.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

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