Candlemas Prayers

What is Candlemas?

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, commonly called Candlemas, commemorates the presentation of Christ in the temple and the ritual purification of the Virgin Mary (as described in Luke 2:22-40). The feast falls on February 2.

More Info: Candlemas Definition and Summary

Prayer Inspired by the Example of Simeon

candles lined up on a windowsill

O God who didst command that women who had given birth to a child should be purified by offering unto thee a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons: make us become a living victim to thee, who didst make thyself a victim for our sakes: that thus thou, who camest not to destroy, but to fulfill the law, mayest graciously infuse into us the riches of the grace of the gospel. Amen. 

From the Mozarabic Breviary

Canticle of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis)

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace, your word has been fulfilled: My own eyes have seen the salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.

From Christian Prayer, commonly said at Candlemas

Canticle of Simeon in Latin (Nunc Dimittis)

Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine Secundum verbum tuum in pace: Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum: Lumen ad revelationem gentium, Et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Commonly said at Candlemas

Catholic Collect for the Feast of the Presentation

All-powerful Father, Christ Your Son became man for us and was presented in the temple. May he free our hearts from sin and bring us into your presence. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit one God forever and ever.

New Saint Joseph Weekday Missal

Salvation Prayer Inspired by the Example of Simeon

Thou, O Lord, art salvation, and thine is salvation. We rejoice that thou hast given it unto us; we beseech thee that thou wilt grant it unto us, even to the end. Pour out, we beseech thee, thy blessing on thy people; that so the curse of our punishment may be removed, and we grow rich in the fruits of justice. Amen. 

From the Mozarabic Breviary

Benedictine Collect for the Feast of the Presentation

Almighty and Everlasting God, we humbly beseech Thy Majesty that as They only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so too Thou wouldst grant us to be presented unto Thee with purified souls and bring us into your presence. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Monastic Diurnal

Kontakion (First Tone) of the Presentation

Your birth sanctified a Virgin's womb and properly blessed the hands of Symeon. Having now come and saved us O Christ our God, give peace to your commonwealth in troubled times and strengthen those in authority, whom you love, as only the loving one.

Ave Maris Stella

Hail, Star of the Sea, Blessed Mother of God, yet ever a Virgin! O Happy Gate of heaven.

Thou that didst receive the Ave from Gabriel's lips, confirm us in peace, and so let Eva be changed into an Ave of blessing for us.

Loose the sinner's chains, bring light to the blind, drive from us our evils, and ask all good things for us.

Show thyself a Mother, and offer our prayers to Him, who would be born of thee, when born for us.

O incomparable Virgin, and meekest of the meek, obtain us the forgiveness of our sins, and make us meek and chaste.

Obtain us purity of life, and a safe pilgrimage; That we may be united with thee, in the blissful vision of Jesus.

Praise be to God the Father, and to the Lord Jesus and to the Holy Spirit: to the three one self-same praise. Amen. 

Traditionally sung at the first Vespers of Candlemas

Prayer for the Blessing of Candles

God our Father, Source of all light, today you revealed to Simeon Your light of revelation to the nations. Bless + these candles and make them holy. May we who carry them to praise your glory walk in the path of goodness and come to the light that shines forever Grant this through Christ our Lord.

New Saint Joseph Weekday Missal. To be said by priests.

Alma Redemptoris Mater (Loving Mother of the Redeemer)

Loving mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator, Yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.

Marian Antiphon Traditionally Said from Advent to Candlemas

Candlemas Morning Prayer

All-powerful Father, Christ your Son became man for us and was presented in the temple. May he free our hearts from sin and bring us into your presence. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen. 

The Liturgy of the Hours

Polytikion (First Tone) of the Presentation

Hail Virgin Theotokos full of Grace, for Christ our God, the Sun of Righteousness, has dawned from you, granting light to those in darkness. And you, O Righteous Elder, rejoice, taking in Your arms, the Deliverance of our souls, who grants us Resurrection.

Addressed to the Virgin Mary and Saint Simeon


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Updated 12-18-2018