Meeting of the Lord
The Presentation of Christ into the Temple is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on February 2. This feast is also known as Candlemas, particularly in Western nations, due to the custom of blessing candles on this day.
In Eastern tradition, it is often called The Meeting of Our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, because the hymns emphasize the incarnate God, the Lord Jesus Christ, meeting with his people, Israel, in the persons of the Prophet Simeon and the Prophetess Anna.
In the Gospel of Luke 2:22-35, Mary and Joseph took the infant Christ to the Temple in Jerusalem. He was received in the arms of the elder Simeon, who then prayed, "Now let Thy servant depart in peace... for I have seen Thy salvation." This was one of the things that Mary "pondered in her heart"—the fact that others recognized that her Son was the Messiah.
- Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of grace!
- From you shone the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God.
- Enlightening those who sat in darkness!
- Rejoice, and be glad, O righteous elder;
- You accepted in your arms the Redeemer of our souls,
- Who grants us the Resurrection.
Kontakion (Tone 1)
- By Your nativity, You did sanctify the Virgin's womb,
- And did bless Simeon's hands, O Christ God.
- Now You have come and saved us through love.
- Grant peace to all Orthodox Christians, O only Lover of man!