Universalis

Monday, 2 February 2009

Candlemas Day

Today is the 40th day of Christmas and brings the festive season to a close. I shall have to chop up my lovely Christmas tree tomorrow and remove all the winter foliage from the house.



When candles are lighted on Candlemas Day
the dark is behind us, and spring's on the way.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
the light of Christ, the fullness of grace.

The kings have departed, the shepherds have gone,
the child and his parents are left on their own.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
the light of Christ, the fullness of grace.

They go to the temple, obeying the law,
and offer two pigeons, the gift of the poor.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
the light of Christ, the fullness of grace.

The light is increasing and spring's in the air.
Look back with thanksgiving! Look forward with prayer!
A glory dawns in every dark place,
the light of Christ, the fullness of grace.

The candles invite us to praise and to pray
when Christmas greets Easter on Candlemas Day.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
the light of Christ, the fullness of grace.

What a lovely carol! I read in The Tablet this weekend that Candlemas Day is midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, so there is more accuracy in these words than I previously realised.

Happy Feast!

10 comments:

Deacon Dale said...

Wow full of admiration that your tree has survived the distance!

Perhaps I will suggest it to my wife for next year (or maybe not!!)

John the organist said...

We sang that yesterday at Coulsdon including a verse mentioning Yahweh!

Edbowie said...

I wonder what tune this is sung to. The composer of the verses seems to have forgotten to include Simeon and Anna.

I think that Candlemas seems to lack a really significant hymn.

Edbowie said...

I wonder what tune this is sung to. The composer of the verses seems to have forgotten to include Simeon and Anna.

I think that Candlemas seems to lack a really significant hymn.

Peter Simpson said...

This lovely hymn is sung to the tune of 'Immaculate Mary, our hearts are on fire'. No, Simeon and Anna are not forgotten - the hymn is a very long one (for processional use) and so I included only a few verses. For example, we have the following:

But Anna and Simeon recognize there
the Christ-child who came at the turn of the year. Refrain

The old who have suffered and waited so long
see hope for the world as they welcome the young. Refrain

They gaze at God's wonderful answer to prayer,
the joy of the Jews and the Gentiles' desire. Refrain

They both get another mention even later on in the hymn!

Peter Simpson said...

This link should give you the whole hymn - along with the tune played on the organ

www.oremus.org/hymnal/w/w260.html

I am sure you will agree that Candlemas does now have a worthy hymn of its own!

Edbowie said...

Thanks Peter. On a different topic, you will be glad to hear that for the first time in nearly 9 months,the interior of Westminster Cathedral is completely free of scaffolding.

Peter Simpson said...

Delighted to hear about the Cathedral. I shall be there for the week-end of 21/22 February - a bit of pre-Lent break in London. I have got a return ticket on the train from Inverness to King's Cross for just £10!

JoannaB said...

Where do you get your cheap tickets from? That would be great if I could get a cheap ticket for a trip to Scotland.

Peter Simpson said...

National Express were offering single journeys at £5 to celebrate the first anniversary of them getting the East Coast franchise. They were only available for travel until the end of February, and were probably snapped up very quickly. I got my two tickets sometime before Christmas.

Scotrail do some very good bargains on the sleeper from Euston - and they serve haggis in the restaurant car!