Presentation of the Lord 2/2
  • This year the Presentation falls on a Sunday and takes precedence.

    The Missal proposes a procession or solemn entrance, with a greeting, Blessing of Candles, and with proper chants. The rubric for "at Mass" suggests, without actually saying, that the penitential rite is omitted. (In the Gradual it says omittitur Kyrie.) The rubrics don't envisage omitting the procession, so when it is omitted, do what? Greeting in the usual place, include the penitential rite and Kyrie anyway?

    What will happen in your church?

    (edited: question asked from perspective of OF)
    Thanked by 1Chris Hebard
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,317
    Thanks so much for this, Andrew. I didn't realize this applies to the EF as well. Could someone please tell me if the following is correct:

    I just checked my Liber and these are the instructions: Before Mass the priest blesses the candles which have been placed before the altar on the Epistle side and distributes them to the people while the choir sings Lumen ad revelationem and the Exsurge when the distribution of candles ends.

    Then there is a short Dialog and a procession outside while the Adorna and other antiphons are sung. (Can other hymns be sung as well during the procession?)

    Upon re-entering the church the Obtulerunt is sung and Mass proceeds as usual, I'm assuming.

    During the Gospel and from the Canon to the Communion, the people may hold lighted candles. How is that done? Do they extinguish their candles before the sermon and re-light them?

    The Institute of Christ the King website has the chants for the procession here.

    Thanks for any help with this.

    ADD: I see some older threads that have hymn suggestions. Charles Giffen's/Kathleen Pluth's setting of Adorna Sion thalamum looks particularly useful.
  • We're singing the Lumen and a Nunc Dimittis setting for the lighting and procession. Then mass as usual. We are just starting to move the parish towards more chant, so We are just adding small pieces here and there at this point to get them acclimated.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,317
    I just found this extra detail about the Candlemas procession at

    While now the procession in held inside the church, during the Middle Ages the clergy left the church and visited the cemetery surrounding it. Upon the return of the procession a priest, carrying an image of the Holy Child, met it at the door and entered the church with the clergy, who sang the canticle of Zachary, "Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel." At the conclusion, entering the sanctuary, the choir sang the responsory, "Gaude Maria Virgo" or the prose, "Inviolata" or some other antiphon in honour of the Blessed Virgin
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 982
    For organists looking for wonderful music based on the chants of the day, check out Tournemire's suite in l'Orgue Mystique. (No.11 Purification de la Sainte Vierge). The offertoire is particularly beautiful and not all that difficult. The piece terminale is not an easy read, but it is quite marvelous.

  • JulieColl, the Exsurge used to be sung before the final oration before the procession. It was removed. I believe it was the 1960 revision that changed this (my rubrical manuals from 1956 and 1958 both still include it). After the procession, the only vestment change is from cope to chasuble and maniple since the color of the procession was also changed from violet to white in the 1960 revision. Since there are no prayers at the foot of the altar, the Introit is then sung.

    We will be doing the EF Candlemas ceremony this year for the first time.
    Thanked by 1JulieColl
  • The rubrics also call for pure beeswax candles.

    I found the following, in a vintage book which I received for Christmas, "The Golden Legend," by Jacobus de Voragine. Here is some Candlemas info taken from it:

    There are four reasons for the custom of the faithful carrying lighted candles on the feast of Candlemas:

    1) It was instituted, first, to remedy a pagan superstition. For of old, the Romans, in order to honor the goddess Februa, the mother of Mars, used to light up the whole city with candles and torches, in the first days of February. This was done every 5 years, and its purpose was to procure the favor of the goddess, so that her son Mars would insure their victory over their enemies. The period of 5 years between these feasts was called a lustrum. In the month of February, the Romans also honored Pluto and the other gods of the underworld. In order to win their good will for the souls of the dead, the people offered them solemn victims, and passed an entire night singing their praises, with lighted torches and candles. The women especially, were devoted to this feast, in accordance with one of the myths of their religion. For the poets had said that Pluto, enamored of Proserpine's beauty, had carried her off and made her his wife: and her parents, not knowing what had become of her, were a long time searching for her with torches and candles. In memory of this, the Roman women went in procession, in order to obtain the favor of Proserpine. As it is always difficult to wipe out such a custom, Pope Sergius decreed that in order to give to this one a Christian meaning, the Blessed Virgin should be honored each year on this day, a blessed candle being carried in the hand to this end. Thus the ancient usage was preserved, but at the same time transformed by a new intention.

    2) Candlemas was established, secondly, to show forth the purity of the Virgin Mary. To impress her purity upon the minds of all, the Church ordered that we should carry lighted candles, as if to say: 'Most blessed Virgin, thou hast no need of purification; on the contrary, thou art all light and all purity!' Such indeed was Mary's innocence that it shone forth even outside of her, and quelled any urgency of the flesh in others. Thus the Jews tell us that although Mary was surpassing fair, no man could ever look upon her with desire.

    3) Thirdly, the Candlemas procession is a symbol of the procession of Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna, when they presented the Child Jesus in the Temple.

    4) Finally, Candlemas is intended for our edification. It teaches us that if we wish to be purified in the sight of God, we should be sincere in faith, unselfish in conduct, and righteous in intention. For the lighted candle signifies faith with good works. And the wick which is hidden in the wax represents the right intention of which Saint Gregory speaks when he says: 'Let your works be visible to all, but let your intention be hidden; so that we may give the example of good works to our neighbors, and yet ever desire that our virtues be unknown, by the intention we have of pleasing God alone.'

    And this from another source:
    'In regards to "Candlemas" it is well said by Dom Guarenger:
    "The mystery of today's ceremony has frequently been explained by
    liturgists, dating from the 7th century. According to Ivo of Chartres, the
    wax, which is formed from the juice of flowers by the bee, always considered
    as the emblem of virginity, signifies the virginal flesh of the Divine
    Infant, who diminished not, either by His conception or His birth, the
    spotless purity of His Blessed Mother. The same holy bishop would have us
    see, in the flame of our Candle, a symbol of Jesus who came to enlighten our
    darkness. St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking on the same
    mystery, bids us consider three things in the blessed Candle: the wax, the
    wick, and the flame. The wax, he says, which is the production of the
    virginal bee, is the Flesh of our Lord; the wick, which is within, is His
    Soul; the flame, which burns on top, is His divinity. "'

    according to the Golden Legend:
    "...if we will appear in this feast before the face of God, pure and clean
    and acceptable, we ought to have in us three things which be signified by
    the candle burning: that is good deeds, true faith, with good works. And
    like as the candle without burning is dead, right so faith is dead without
    works as Saint James saith, for to believe in God without obeying his
    commandments profiteth nothing. And therefore saith Saint Gregory: The good
    work ought to show withoutforth that thy intention abide good withinforth
    the heart, without seeking within any vain glory to be allowed and praised.
    And by the fire is understood charity, of which God saith: I am come to put
    fire in the earth, and whom I will, I will burn.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,317
    Expeditus, thanks so much for the helpful details and the background. I see also that the Liber says the people may hold lighted candles during the Gospel and then from the Canon to Communion. Do you plan to do this as well?
  • Yes, we plan to do that, but the priest only wishes for those 13 and older to be holding lighted candles.

    Andrew, I will now turn attention back to the original question on your edited thread. You know us EF folks; we like to hijack things. LOL
  • I was at a liturgy once at which hair was (briefly) kindled by a taper being carried in procession. The carrier wasn't a child, though. But be careful.
    Thanked by 1expeditus1
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,317
    I'm sorry as well about the diversion, Andrew. I didn't realize this thread was about the OF. Mea culpa. : (
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,206
    I found this lovely and relatively simple Nunc Dimittis:
    It is by Walmisley and is available on
  • canadash, thanks for posting this. When I saw your recent posting of it on another thread, I immediately liked it. Our choir started practicing it on Monday.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,298
    I have hunches about what will be done at our parish, but wonder what should happen with multiple Masses: do the candles get blessed at each one, or are some of you celebrating both Presentation and OT 4? A similar situation arises, at least in the EF, on the First Sunday after Pentecost..
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,404
    Presentation, Candlemas, and Groundhog Day. I don't quite know how to handle this.

    I have wondered about the candles, as well, but am guessing they will be blessed at only one mass. I do plan to ask in case I am wrong about that.

    Is there a blessing of groundhogs? I don't know! My money is on General Beauregard Lee for predictions, since that Yankee hog is unreliable in this part of the country.

    Presentation sounds like a good time for a part of the Tournemire piece mentioned earlier - probably the communion since it is a better length for my place.
  • Ally
    Posts: 220
    Here is what we are doing, if it helps:

    We are celebrating the Presentation, of course, at all 3 weekend Masses (OF). There will be a candle blessing at each one (we'll divide them up!). We are also blessing candles for the people to take home at each Mass (Catholics love free stuff, right?)

    We are not having a procession from a different place though, just a solemn entrance.

    This is how it will go:

    People will be in their pews since we don't have a huge space at the entry and it's cold in Wisconsin. We may just invite kids to process, or just have the altar servers light candles on the ends of aisles as they walk in the procession - depends on the priest we have. Ministers at the main entrance of church. Father will do the greeting, address, bless the candles from just inside that entry (this reminds me of Palm Sunday form 2). Then we will sing as they do the "normal" procession to the altar. Depending on which priest we have, he may incense and switch cope/chasuble, but maybe not. If it's the other one, he will just reverence the altar and go to his chair. The rubrics seem to indicate we go right into the Gloria, so we will! Then collect, etc. as usual. (see rubric no. 8).

    (If you are doing any of the procession stuff, even just the prayers, then the "usual" greeting would be omitted, because there is a sign of the cross and greeting. If you are omitting ALL of those parts, I could envision a simple entrance that is like the 3rd Palm Sunday form, which is basically Mass just beginning as usual. Perhaps an adaptation to propose...)
    Thanked by 1Andrew Malton
  • TomK
    Posts: 15
    Thank you Andrew for alerting me to my posting of this in the wrong "discussion".

    Hi, I'm not sure yet what we might be doing at the beginning of mass but I wrote this using the antiphon from the missal for the blessing of candles. The verses are from The Grail and are the ones used in our Gather hymnal. I am thinking of a random bell ring while candles are lit and then using the music below as the processional - if the people have candles in their hands they won't have to hold books. We'll sing Sylvia Dunstan's setting of Nunc Dimittus to REGENT SQUARE at the end of mass.image
  • donr
    Posts: 920
    You can find what you are looking for in the Roman Missal III Edition pages 813(815) - 819(821) with chants in English and Latin.

    I do not want to break any copyright laws so if you need the verbiage let me know via private message