Many people think that the twelve days of Christmas end with Twelfth Night and the feast of Epiphany on 6th January, which marks the visit of the Magi who were worshippers of Mazda, the god of light in their Zoroastrian faith. Their arrival is a reminder that the Light is for all people and not just the Jews but the stories of the birth of Jesus actually continue until Candlemas on 2nd February. This is also called the Presentation of Christ in the Temple when Mary and Joseph took the infant to the Temple and the old man Simeon recognised him as “A Light to lighten the Gentiles.” It later became the custom for churches to light a candle to represent this Light and for candles to be blessed at this time. As Candlemas is half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, it was also associated with the appearance of nature’s candles, the snowdrops, and weather forecasting:If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, winter will have a second flightIf Candlemas Day be dull with rain, winter will not come again.
Nowadays, many people have forgotten the link with the blessing of candles but the lighting of them still represents the warmth and comfort they bring as well as better vision in the dark. There is still much to be gloomy about as the pandemic continues but the good news that Omicron is milder than was initially thought is bringing the hope that Covid may be becoming an epidemic and something to learn to live with. As the Welsh restrictions begin to ease and the daylight increases, may the signs of spring and new life help to lighten the load being carried by so many for so long as we discern the way ahead!
February’s services will be held on the following dates:
Sundays 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th:Service of reflection at 3pm.
Thursdays 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th:Holy Eucharist at noon.
All services at St Melangell’s will be held according to the current guidance of the Welsh Government with the Church in Wales and masks, social distancing and hand sanitiser will still be used as a precaution. For further details, please ring 01691 860408, check the website stmelangell.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
With my prayers; pob bendith,