Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Feast of the Presentation ~ Feb. 2

A much belated post! We celebrated the Feats of the Presentation of the Lord in the temple, sometimes referred to as Candlemas, because in days of old, people would have their candles blessed on this day by a priest. Some parishes still do this, and we would have asked our priest if he could bless our candles had we seen him after the Mass.

We spent part of the morning making our own candles! We used a beeswax candle rolling kit, which makes it quite easy for kids! Using the sheets of beeswax, we were able to make several taper candles, including some Advent wreath candles (although we're short one purple! ;). You just stick the wick in them and roll them up! They can be cut to make tapers, or just rolled together to make thicker, straight-edged candles.

We wil have several candles now for use throughout the year... if only I could figure out the best candle holders for them! The ones that are a bit thicker than tapers... but not as thick as votives... for now, they are in votive holders, balancing precariously!

We made this red candle with cut-outs of doves on it specifically for Pentecost, but we used it also for this day's feast, as Mary and Joseph offered two turtle doves as a sacrifice.

After making candles, we headed to our parish's daily noon Mass, where we heard the reading from Luke which set the stage for our tea time luncheon. We did a similar luncheon last year, and the idea came from the Liturgical Teas by Alice at the blog Cottage Blessings. I also just read her book, A Haystack Full of Needles, and found it to be full of good ideas that could be useful throughout many years of homeschooling!

We got to use our nice new serving dish set that my brother and his wife gave to us for Christmas. The four sections contain whipped cream, strawberries, hummus, and baby carrots.

On Caroline's plate, you can see the turtle-dove shaped PB&J sandwiches, which I cut out using a dove-shaped cookie cutter. "...and to offer the sacrifice of 'a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,' in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord." (Luke 2:24)

Strawberries pierced with "sword" toothpicks and dipped in whipped cream - the white whipped cream symbolizes Mary's purity, and the strawberry symbolizes Mary's heart: "Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.'" (Luke 2:34-35)

The girls used the "swords" to symbolize Simeon's words regarding Mary being pierced by a sword in the sorrows she would come to endure while watching her son die.

Baby carrots with hummus on the tip: these symbolize candles with a flame, as the day is called Candlemas, and also since Simeon commented about Jesus being a light for the world: "...for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." (Luke 2:30-32)

We were also going to have pretzels, but I forgot to get them out! Their shape can remind us of arms folded in prayer, symbolizing Simeon, who held the infant Jesus in his arms: "Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him." (Luke 2:25)

And for dessert, chocolate fondue! We dipped our homemade marshmallows from M week into it using long wooden skewers, symbolizing Anna, who was also praying in the temple, as she was a very devout and holy woman (the white of the marshmallow), and was also a widow (the "black" of the chocolate): "There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer." (Luke 2:36-37)


You can tell they thoroughly enjoyed this part! And the chocolate fondue definitely made the marshmallows taste great - I didn't care for them just plain, personally, although everyone else in the family had been eating them up!


Jenny said...

How fun! You're candles are beautiful. I'm a new follower from Catholic Mothers Online. Please stop by and return the favor.

mel said...

mmmm...chocolate. Stop posting about food! lol!