Thursday, February 2, 2012

Feast of the Presentation/Candlemas

Although most of the world knows February 2 as Groundhog's Day, I like to remember another holiday on this day.  February 2 is also the Feast of the Presentation, which has also been called Candlemas.  This feast day remembers the day when Joseph and the Blessed Mother took Jesus to the temple to be presented.  There, they met Simeon and Anna, two elderly people who had been patiently waiting and praying for the promised Messiah.

In the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium, we share this story with the students by reading its passage in the Bible (Luke 2:22-39), then meditating on the passage, then using some handmade materials to re-tell the story.  When I took my first CGS training nine years ago,  I made a set of wooden dowel people and a temple so my children could re-tell the story at home.  These are very humble little items and far from perfect, yet my kids seem entranced by them.   Here are a few photos of my handmade materials:

The people are made with wooden dowels and small wooden balls. I used a porcelain clay to form the veils on the women. Joseph is holding a basket of two turtle doves made from the same porcelain clay, and Mary has a porcelain clay Baby Jesus wrapped in "swaddling clothes"  (a piece of cheesecloth.) 

My daughter is working with the materials. The temple is super easy to make! It consists of wooden plaques which have been spray painted with paint that replicates a stone/pebbly surface. The floor is made up of two plaques.  One is slightly smaller so when they are stacked on top of each other, steps are created.  The pillars are plastic cake pillars used for wedding cakes and picked up for pennies at a garage sale.  They were hot glued to the base and roof of the temple.
As I write this, my daughter is behind me, working with the materials and humming "Immaculate Mary."  Ahhh, such a wonderful gift for my heart!

Tonight, our church will have a special Mass for the Feast of the Presentation.  Everyone is invited to bring a candle to be blessed and used throughout the year for birthdays, Lent, prayer times, Advent and other special days.  Afterwards, we'll have a small "cookie and hot cocoa" reception where everyone is invited to bring any leftover Christmas goodies to share.  What a wonderful way to close the Christmas season!

Happy Feast of the Presentation!  How are you celebrating this final day of the Christmas season?


  1. Such a wonderful way to celebrate! Your materials are so creative and I love seeing the beautiful expression on your daughter's face.

  2. this is so delightful. how better to tell a story than to let the children act it out as a play. I love the creativity of using the cake pillars! thanks for sharing.