Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Forty days after His birth, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for the rites of purification and dedication as prescribed by the Torah. According to the Book of Leviticus (12:1-4), when a woman bore a male child, she was considered “unclean” for seven days. On the eighth day, the boy was circumcised. The mother continued to stay at home for 33 days for her blood to be purified. After the 40 days, the mother and the father came to the temple for the rite of purification. For some, this feast concludes the Christmas celebration and they leave their Christmas decoration up to today. So, the Presentation is a proclamation of Christ – Messiah and Priest, Lord and Savior. He is the light who came into this world to dispel sin and darkness. Since the seventh century, candles that will be used throughout the year at church and in homes are blessed at Mass today giving birth to another name used for this day, “Candlemas Day”. As we consider the feast of the Presentation, we remember that our parents presented us at church for our baptism. We were dedicated to God, and given the name “Christian.” We, too, received a lit candle from the paschal candle, at which the priest or deacon baptizing said: “You have been enlightened by Christ. Walk always as a child of the light and keep the flame of faith alive in your heart. When the Lord comes, may you go out to meet Him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.” Therefore, as a light, each of us must bear witness to Our Lord. We must be the beacon that guides others to Christ.
In an effort to create a greater sense of awe and reverence in the celebration of Mass, you may have noticed our altar servers doing things a little differently. First, some of our senior servers and selected adults have been trained in the role of Master of Ceremonies. They wear a cassock and surplice. They help our servers to carry out their tasks at Mass in a more uniform, reverential, and prayerful way. Our hope is that this assists you in your reverence and prayer as we celebrate Mass. Also, we have been keeping the doors between the church and the narthex closed before Mass so that it is more quiet in church before Mass. We encourage conversations be held in the narthex rather than the church.
And finally a reminder…….please park in the designed handicap parking spots ONLY if you have the appropriate placard….especially in the small parking lot between the rectory and church building. I have spoken to the Aurora police department, and if parishioner or staff sees a violation, they may call the police department and an officer will come out and issue a ticket. If it continues to be a problem, officers may drive through the lot during Mass times and ticket any violators.
Have a blessed week!