According to Jewish custom, and still today in some Orthodox churches, mother and child are kept away from the temple/church for 40 days after childbirth. Thus, 40 days after His birth, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to complete Mary's ritual purification and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, in obedience to the Law of Moses. (Take note that we celebrate this feast 40 days after Christmas.) It was at the Presentation that the Prophetess Anna and St. Symeon met the Lord. St. Symeon recognized Him as the Messiah, praying:
Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: a light to enlighten the gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel (Luke 2:29-32).
This meeting marks a transition between the Old Testament and the New Testament fulfilled in Christ the Lord. So, while the rest of the world has left the Christmas feast and forgotten about the baby Jesus, let us remember Him today and remember the promise and hope for salvation that His birth and presentation set in motion.
Since candles will be blessed on this day, we'll be making a candle craft to celebrate it. After you make your candle, have it blessed. Then, light the candle for a family meal or at family prayer time and allow your child to say the blessing or a special prayer.
Glass jar or votive holder
Tissue paper, cut into 1 inch squares (or so)
Icon of the Meeting of the Lord; hymns/prayers of the day
Scissors or paper cutter
Packing Tape (optional)
Blue transparent paint (optional)
Sequins, gems, etc (optional)
1. Glue tissue paper to glass.
2. Cut out icon and glue over the tissue paper. If the ink runs, start again and cover in packing tape.* Repeat with prayers.
3. Glue icon to the glass and glue prayers opposite icon.
4. Paint any gaps and extra decorations of choice. (Optional)
As an alternative, older children could decorate an actual candle. Pillar candles would be good for affixing an icon, or taper candles could be decorated with ribbons.
* In the past, I have had trouble with homemade prints running when using the decoupage glue. However, as Bumble Bee and I made the instructional video, I found that putting tape on both sides of the icon made it fall off the votive holder. After making the video, I noticed that over the next 24 hours the blue from the tissue paper seemed to soak through when I covered only the front of the icon. We did do one more test and found that our icon was okay with no protective covering this time. It may be something about the particular glue, so try what feels best, and be prepared to alter course if need be.