Candlemas takes place at the beginning of February, it’s a feast about light, that comes as we anticipate the widening arc of the sun and the lengthening days. The feast recounts the moment Jesus is presented in the temple and an elderly man and woman recognise him as the one for whom they had been waiting.

Simeon’s words of joy tell us that, ‘a light has come to lighten all the darkness’. In church we hold our Christingle service at Candlemas, as we sit in a darkened church, the light of the candles gently banish the darkness and the sweet citrus smell of the oranges fills our nostrils. One of the things the church used to do was take the candles from the service out into the village to share the light with those who hadn’t been there.

The candles symbolise the light of Christ that has come into our world, reminding us that it’s Jesus’s presence that transforms even the darkest times. This is a season of hope. There has been a long period of uncertainty and waiting, and now the wait is over. It’s a story that resonates strongly with us as we hope for
better things in 2023.

As we welcome His light into our lives, we are welcoming a hope that doesn’t disappoint us. At the moment it is already dark by 5pm, but we know that this won’t last for much longer. If you are looking for some peace, a sanctuary out of the dark, then St Mary with St Alban is open during the day and we would love you to come in and light a candle.

Revd. Caroline Halmshaw