What is Candlemas?

Posted on

Candlemas (or candles mass) is known as the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord Jesus and the Purification of Mary which is described in the Gospel of Luke (2:22-24) in the New Testament. At this occasion, Joseph and Mary were observing the command in Leviticus 12 that stated that on the eighth day, the new born boy was to be circumcised. And on the fortieth day, the mother would be considered clean, and the boy would be presented to the priest. The mother would also bring a burnt offering of a year-old lamb and a pigeon or turtledove for a sin offering. And if she could not afford a lamb, she can bring two pigeons or turtledoves.

Candlemas is a holiday observed mainly by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Orthodox churches. It falls on February 2, which is traditionally the 40th day of the Christmas-Epiphany season. While it is customary for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), those in other Christian countries historically remove them on Candlemas.

The Feast of the Presentation is one of the oldest feasts of the Christian church, celebrated since the 4th century (312 AD). Traditionally, the Western term “Candlemas” referred to the practice whereby a priest on 2 February blessed beeswax candles with “holy water” and incense for use throughout the year and candles were distributed to the faithful for use in at home.

While there is nothing wrong in remembering the day when Jesus and Mary went to the temple, Candlemas has some unbiblical beliefs and superstitions connected with it:

1-Beliefs – The honoring of the Virgin Mary as being the Mother of God which is contrary to the Bible– https://bibleask.org/mary-mother-god/ and her perpetual virginity – https://bibleask.org/what-does-the-phrase-perpetual-virginity-of-mary-mean/

2-Superstitions – there are many superstitions such people believing that they should remove the Christmas decorations of greenery for traces of berries will bring death among them before another year is out. Others hold that anyone who hears funeral bells tolling on Candlemas will soon hear of the death of a close friend or relative. And others believe that placing candles in windows will ward off storms and so on.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

A closing message from BibleAsk:

Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions. If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond! If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared). Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions. If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk. Any donation size helps .