February 2 Presentation of OUr Lord, CANDLEMAS, Groundhog Day
The Church officially recognizes this day as the Presentation of the Lord.In former days, it was also referred to as the Purification of Mary.This feast recognizes the day that Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the temple.It was traditional Jewish law that baby boys were presented at the temple 40 days after their birth, thus we have this feast 40 days after Christmas.The parents were to present an offering and the woman was considered purified after giving birth.Since Joseph and Mary were poor, their offering consisted of two doves. And it should also be noted that Mary did not require the purification, but in her humility she followed the law.It is recorded in Scripture that at the presentation, Mary received the prophecy from Simeon that became her first sorrow.(Can we remember the other 6? http://www.sevensorrows.com/explanation.htm)
The Presentation or Purification of Mary also was a time when the church would bless candles for people to use in their homes.There were (and still are) beautiful processions with candles associated with the mass on this day.Thus, the day also became known as Candle Mas.
I didn’t think that Groundhog day had anything to do with any church traditions, but I guess I was wrong. (A reader set me straight) Here is a link to explain the connection.
The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
Share the reading from the Gospel about this feast: Luke 2:22-40
Discuss Anna' and Simeon's prophecies.
Color this Picture of the Presentation.
If you go to Mass, consider having a candle blessed today that you could use in your home on special occasions and feast days.
Here is a Groundhog hat to color and wear!
Although not too practical, you could serve 2 Cornish hens for dinner which would represent the 2 doves that Joseph and Mary offered for their sacrifice.For my size family, we just use two chickens—not quite representative of doves, but could portray the idea.(I’ll look for small ones at the grocery store.)And here is a very, simple slow cooker recipe for the chicken(s).
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-slow-cooker-chicken/detail.aspxor you could just get a couple of rotisserie chickens. Make sure you get 2 and serve them on a platter. (There is a lot to do with leftover rotisserie chicken.)