Candlemas logistics
  • Claire H
    Posts: 354
    With Feb 2 landing on a Sunday this year, I am going to suggest to my pastor that we include the Candlemas Rite. However, I have never been part of it before and have logistical questions. Most specifically, should it happen at a particular liturgy (Vigil...even though 4:30 isn't after dark?), or all the weekend liturgies?
  • We have done this at Walsingham within the morning's solemn high mass.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 766
    As far as I can see, the Blessing of Candles and the Procession are not optional for The Presentation of the Lord. So, if there are multiple masses celebrated during the weekend in your parish, it is my understanding they all start with the Blessing of Candles and the Procession.

    But The Roman Missal (p. 815-819) provides two forms: a solemn procession, which starts at a smaller church or other suitable place other than inside the church to which the procession will go, or a solemn entrance, which starts at a suitable place inside the church. You could choose one principle liturgy during the weekend where the solemn procession takes place, and have a simpler solemn entrance at the other masses.

    The rite itself is quite simple: it consists of the Sign of the Cross, a short address, followed by the blessing and sprinkling of the (lit) candles. Then the procession takes place towards the altar, and after reverencing it, the priest intones the Gloria.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,975
    [EDITED] The description in the Missal leaves me with further logistical questions: What if the short antiphon given does not cover the lighting of the candles? ‡ (I suppose Bugnini et al assumed that every adult carried a cigarette lighter!) When are the candles extinguished, and are they relit for the Creed as at the Easter Vigil? I would deduce that the blessing precedes Mass, which begins with the veneration of the altar and the Introit, and that the candles are extinguished at the end of the procession (to be taken home). But as a liturgical action has preceded Mass, there is no penitential rite.
    Fortescue spends ten pages of Ceremonies .. on Candlemas.
    ‡ LU pairs this antiphon with Ps 113V(114&115) In exitu, but that is on a different occasion.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,837
    The diocesan Ordo (Southwark) mention 'Once' next to the procession. So assume that the procession can only happen at one of the Sunday Masses.
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 766
    If the lighting of the candles takes (much) longer than the antiphon, it could be repeated until all candles are lit, or another appropriate chant could be sung, or psalm verses could be added. The Processional gives Ps 94 (95):1-7 or Rev 15:3-4 as suggested verses to be sung with the antiphon.

    I also checked msgr. Peter Elliott's Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year. "Strictly speaking, candles should be extinguished at the conclusion of the procession, but it would seem more convenient, and seemly, for all who carried candles in the procession to extinguish them only after the Opening Prayer." (p. 48-49).

    At the Easter Vigil, there is no Creed, but the Renewal of Baptismal Promises, during which all hold lighted candles in their hands. This is not done at the Presentation of the Lord.
    Thanked by 1CGM
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,629
    I can't tell you what would be done for the NO. But these are the instructions from our TLM priest:
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,975
    So in the EF the candles are relit, twice, first for the Gospel and then again for the Canon. Should we do that in the OF?
  • smvanroodesmvanroode
    Posts: 766
    "Should we do that in the OF?"

    If there is no rubric indicating this, no, one shouldn't imo.
  • PLTT
    Posts: 101
    I might be wrong (please correct me if so) but looking over the rubrics of both the Ceremonial of Bishops and the Roman Missal, there is really no indication of what is done with the candles. Of course, it makes logical sense to extinguish them after the procession, but this is not indicated.

    The Missal is completely silent, although presumably the celebrant must get rid of the candle in order to perform certain actions. The Ceremonial of Bishops is a little more detailed - the candle is handed to a deacon - but is silent on what happens to the people's candles. For that reason, I feel that any legitimate customs could be observed - including holding them lit for the Mass, or relighting them at certain points.

    One could perhaps make an analogy with Palm Sunday** and the fact that palms are laid aside after the procession. However, there are difficulties even there because the case is not strictly analogous. On Palm Sunday there are two Gospels, and the Gospel of the Mass is focused on the Passion, not the Palms -- while the Gospel of the Mass on Feb 2 does focus on the Presentation and Christ as Light.

    Interestingly, although it is widespread, neither the Roman Missal nor the Ceremonial of Bishops say that the celebrant's or peoples' candles are extinguished at the Easter Vigil. They simply say that they are set/laid aside when the Liturgy of the Word begins. Later for the Renewal of Promises, it says that the people hold lighted candles. But the candles could conceivably have stayed lit all the while (where and how? that's another question :) ).


    **(I think this analogy is why most places adopt the unprovided for 'third option' of doing neither procession nor solemn entrance. Though unprovided for, I believe it is a logical argument. Yes, the missal could have provided for a Simple Rite and did not do so. But surely,it did not expect to invest EVERY Mass this day with the solemnity of a solemn entrance, which is otherwise not provided for even for more solemn days ranked higher in the Table of Liturgical Days).
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,975
    Belatedly, to note that for the Ordinariates DW:tM has a rubric :
    During Mass, all may hold lighted candles while the Gospel is read. and during the Canon