RICH FAITH TRADITIONS
January 31, 2020 | Pastor's Corner
As we open the month of February, we celebrate this weekend the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This feast marks 40 days since the celebration of Christmas. At one time this feast was the end of the Christmas Season. Decorations, especially the nativity scene remained until after February 2nd. This feast recalls the moment when Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple as was the custom of their tradition. According to their religious tradition every male was presented to the Lord. On the occasion of the presentation of Jesus in the temple, Mary and Joseph also encountered two holy people: Simeon and Anna.
This day has also been known as Candlemas Day because of the tradition of blessing candles for use throughout the Church year. It is also associated with the folklore about the arrival of spring. German farmers believed that on Candlemas the badger interrupted his winter nap to check the weather. If it is sunny, the badger gets scared and goes back into hibernation for another six weeks and winter continues. If he does not see his shadow, we know that spring time is coming soon.
Monday, February 3rd is the Feast of St. Blaise who is associated with the tradition of blessing of throats. Two blessed candles are tied with a red ribbon (honoring his martyrdom) or held together in the form of a St. Andrew cross for the blessing of throats. According to legend, St. Blaise miraculously cured a boy who was choking to death on a fish bone. Blaise has long been associated with cures for the sick, especially afflictions of the throat.
The final blessing for the weekend Masses will be the Blessing of St. Blaise. Throats will be individually blessed after Mass on the weekend and on Monday during Mass.