Monday, February 2, 2009

Candlemass, Ground Hogs Day

February 2-
I always knew it as GroundHogs day and my girlfriends birthday, now I know it is also Candlemass celebration- another twist on the celebration of Light - See below for more information.
I would have liked to make Ice candles today-
Filling Milk cartons with Ice and a single taper candle then pouring melted wax in. the Ice Cubes melt in different ways and at different speeds leaving you with a really cool candle. After it has cooled completely you tear off the milk carton. Sometimes we put in chunks of colored wax as well. You can always tint your wax with crayons. These make for very unique candles without a lot of extra fuss. Unfortunately between Church confirmation class and Musical support there was not time for any creative candles. Maybe over winter break.

On February 2nd, Christians Celebrate God's Glory

Of the various Christian holy days that take place throughout the year, Candlemass (or Candelaria), on February 2nd, may be one of the least well-known ceremonies in the Christian world. Evangelical Protestants do not count it as a major observance, while Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Greek Orthodox churches hold it in high esteem.

During Candelaria, candles are blessed, lit, and borne in a procession in celebration to Jesus being the light of the world. In AD 638, Sophronius, Patriarch of Jerusalem, proclaimed the importance of the celebration in his sermon to the church, stating: "Our bright shining candles are a sign of divine splendor of the one who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole universe radiant with the brilliance of his eternal light. Our candles also show how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ." The candles are generally considered to represent the inner light of Christ, which he brought to share with the world.

Candelaria on February 2nd
The date of February 2nd places the Candelaria celebration forty days after Christmas and continues the religious cycle that leads up to Easter Sunday. Additionally, it is also the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, which is the basis for various ancient European celebrations that commemorate the annual beginnings of the agricultural season.

Also of note concerning Candlemass is its connection to Groundhog Day, which occurs on the same date. This tradition also finds its origin in European folklore, as a prediction for the coming spring.

For the Church, however, Candelaria remains a day of hope and light. It is a time to honor the Lord as the Light of the World and to remind us that we too have that light within us.

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