This ancient festival marks the midpoint of winter, halfway between the shortest day of the year and the spring equinox. Candlemas is a Christian festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary, which according to Jewish law, took place forty days after the birth of her son, Jesus. On this day, Christians also remember the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem, another Jewish tradition that took place forty days after a son’s birth. In pre-Christian times, this day was known as the “Feast of Lights” and celebrated the increase in strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring. During the early Middle Ages, February 2nd was the day of the year when all the candles that were to be used during the coming year were brought into the church for a blessing to be said over them. The day became known as the Festival Day (or Mass) of the Candles which, over time, became shortened to “Candlemas.”
ALL SAINTS’ SUNDAY
10:15 am, early November – A powerful service featuring musicians and choir performing a Mass for Remembrance. This is a profound spiritual experience in which we remember loved ones who have passed. There is also an opportunity for remembrance at a Day of the Dead
service, during which participants are invited to share pictures, symbolic objects and stories in remembrance of their loved ones.
DAY OF THE DEAD
At this service, family and friends gather to pray for and remember those who have passed to the greater life. The Altar is decorated using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed. This celebration honors them in the way we remembered them while they were alive.
THE DAY OF PENTECOST
Pentecost is the great festival that marks the birth of the Christian church by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost means “fiftieth day” and is celebrated fifty days after Easter Sunday. The Day of Pentecost is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year in the Episcopal Church and is identified as one of the feasts that is “especially appropriate” for baptism.
This Sunday was originally no otherwise distinguished than as an octave of Pentecost. The Church, however, in consequence of the heresies of Arius and others, who opposed this divine mystery, thought proper to order that the mystery of the Trinity should be more solemnly commemorated on a particular day.
On Trinity Sunday we remember and honor the Triune God revealed to us in and through the life of the Resurrected Christ. On this Sunday, white is the color of the day.