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» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Ecclesiantics   » Who kept Candlemas a week late?

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Who kept Candlemas a week late?
leo
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As I was drawing up lists of readings before the 1917-8 lectionary was available, I got ito a mess – we kept our patronal festival (Paul) in the octave of Jan 25th so kept Candlemas today – a week later than we’re supposed to but on the nearest Sunday, nonetheless, to Feb.2.

By the time the lectionary came out, if was too late to rectify – preachers had bewewn booked etc.

I know of at least one other church in our deanery that made the same mistake.

Anybody else?

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Bishops Finger
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Hah! We kept it yesterday (Saturday) at our 930am Walsingham Cell Mass, which is held on the first Saturday each month.

Some nice hymns, Walsingham Rose incense, and a candlelit procession (fortunately, it was a rather gloomy morning!).

IJ

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BroJames
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
As I was drawing up lists of readings before the 1917-8 lectionary was available…

A bit before my time!
[Biased]

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L'organist
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I know of loads of churches that 'did' Candlemas today, for the simple reason that the first Sunday of the month is a popular slot for those that have a fairly trad "family" eucharist with SS in for the whole thing and Candlemas, and the presentation, are fantastic themes for a SS presentation.

Clashes of this kind aren't good, but with the increasing difficulty of getting clergy to take midweek celebrations, even for major feasts, never mind getting a congregation for such services, one is forced to compromise. I know of churches that don't have services on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday or Ascension: while in one case it can be put down fair-and-square to clerical laziness (an incumbent who looked for someone else to cover Christmas Day because it was their day off, I kid you not), in others it is because there is no congregation.

Perhaps if those who drew up the lectionary had more exposure to 'real' parish life they wouldn't be so inflexible.

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Bishops Finger
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Some of our neighbours get round the problem of small attendances even on such major Holydays as Ash Wednesday etc. by holding joint services, which also makes things a little easier for clergy.

IJ

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L'organist
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We've tried that over the years in the place where I play and the surrounding parishes.

However, its ended up that WE are the place that has the services, OURS is the priest who takes them; those old-fashioned types in surrounding parishes who wish to mark, say, Ascension, on the day know they can come to us (and do) and the priests in the other parishes just do nothing.

Of course, on the plus side it means that our electoral role numbers continue to climb, despite being the smallest parish (by resident population) in the deanery because eventually people vote with their feet.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
As I was drawing up lists of readings before the 1917-8 lectionary was available . . . .

I’m showing supreme ignorance here, but can someone explain this to me? Does a new lectionary come out in the CofE every year? I’m used to being able to look in the book (or online) to check the readings way in advance—years in advance if need be—and to compare the book with a calendar for what will fall when. (Of course, I’m also used to Candlemas being ignored—I imagine only the spikiest of Anglo-Catholic places mark it over here.)

Obviously I’m missing something. Can someone tell me what it is I’m missing?

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Emendator Liturgia
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We celebrated Candlemas - or Feast of the Presentation, if you prefer - on Sunday - as is allowed in liturgical books and authorities! The lighting of candles in the harsh glare of an Australian summer might seem incongruous, but the symbolism overall was not lost on the flock.

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BroJames
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
As I was drawing up lists of readings before the 1917-8 lectionary was available . . . .

I’m showing supreme ignorance here, but can someone explain this to me? Does a new lectionary come out in the CofE every year? I’m used to being able to look in the book (or online) to check the readings way in advance—years in advance if need be—and to compare the book with a calendar for what will fall when. (Of course, I’m also used to Candlemas being ignored—I imagine only the spikiest of Anglo-Catholic places mark it over here.)

Obviously I’m missing something. Can someone tell me what it is I’m missing?

Various publishers, including Church House Publishing print a lectionary volume each year which fixes the readings (Sunday and Daily) to the particular dates in the year.

That can be done from the tables and rules for years in advance, but sometimes there can be doubt about (e.g.) which Sunday to swap the Feast of the Presentation/Candlemas to. The current practice of the Church of England (for those who are liturgically more observant) is to give more emphasis to Candlemas as the last element of the Incarnation cycle, and to make it a liturgical hinge point for switching towards the Paschal cycle.

In response to leo's OP, it may be worth noting that the Church House Publishing printed lectionary includes an outline calendar for the following year, along with a note of transferences. So some time before Advent Sunday 2016 it would have been possible to see that the recommended transference for Candlemas 2018 was to 28th January (consistently with the rules in the Common Worship 'Main Volume' which say that if transferred it should be celebrated on a Sunday between 28 January and 3 February).

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Angloid
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The C of E has given Candlemas a starring role in the liturgical year which it never had before Common Worship and doesn't have, as far as I know, in the rest of Christendom (maybe some other Anglican churches do). That's not particularly a bad thing; it is seen as a 'hinge' between the Christmas season and Lent/Passiontide. But the way it works is a bit clunky: there are still (even with this year's early Easter) a couple of weeks Ordinary time between Candlemas and Ash Wednesday. And highlighting it means that in most parishes it will have to be on a Sunday. I don't know why the lectionary directed that it should have been on the 28th rather than on the nearest Sunday which was yesterday, and it's quite understandable that many parishes either failed to realise that or for various reasons preferred the 4th. Anecdotally there seems to have been a 50-50 split around here.

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Barnabas Aus
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A former rector always applied the rule that you shouldn't presume upon a feast. He would never transfer to a preceding Sunday. The feast was celebrated on the day or the Sunday following.
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Nick Tamen

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Many thanks BroJames and Angloid!

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bib
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I have never attended any church that keeps Candlemas - maybe it isn't observed in Australia.I'm not even sure of its significance.

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Pine Marten
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Otherwise known as the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, or the Purification of the BVM... when the elderly Simeon and the prophet Anna recognised the infant Jesus as the promised Messiah.

We kept ours on the day, ie last Friday. The usual smallish number turned up (normal for an evening service of that type), but we still had 5 hymns (as I recall) and it was very nice [Smile]

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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I went to a very nice Solemn Mass on the day 2nd February on Friday evening, at a church I know, but don't regularly attend.

Last Sunday 28th January, Candlemas was kept where I went to church in the morning.

Sunday 4th February yesterday, I went to a monthly Choral Evensong, at which the choral parts reflected Candlemas.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I’m also used to Candlemas being ignored—I imagine only the spikiest of Anglo-Catholic places mark it over here.)

Obviously I’m missing something. Can someone tell me what it is I’m missing?

I still have a very old, black and white tract produced by the Church Union called ‘Candles and Ashes’- Candlemass and ashing at the start of Lent were only done by extreme anglo-catholics in the 1960s.

Now, everyone seems to do them.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
I still have a very old, black and white tract produced by the Church Union called ‘Candles and Ashes’- Candlemass and ashing at the start of Lent were only done by extreme anglo-catholics in the 1960s.

Now, everyone seems to do them.

That's interesting. As a small child, I can remember being told it was Candlemas, and that from then on we were supposed not to need lights indoors during the day time.

It's a special day in the 1662 Prayer Book, the equivalent of a saint's day, though it has different names there. That might well mean that until the early C19 it was a public holiday.

I've no more seen Candlemas spelt with a second 's', than Christmas spelt that way. That does look a bit like an Anglo-Catholic affectation.

As far as I know, Ash Wednesday has always been so called and marked, though I don't remember ashing being part of it until really quite recently. As a child, I can remember one of the local CofE primary schools all being taken to church on Ash Wednesday and Ascension Day, but as I went to a different school, I don't know what happened when they got there.

I can't remember whether they also went there for Candlemas.

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kingsfold

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Full Sung Eucharist for Candlemas on 2nd Feb is standard for us.
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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
I’m also used to Candlemas being ignored—I imagine only the spikiest of Anglo-Catholic places mark it over here.)

Obviously I’m missing something. Can someone tell me what it is I’m missing?

I still have a very old, black and white tract produced by the Church Union called ‘Candles and Ashes’- Candlemass and ashing at the start of Lent were only done by extreme anglo-catholics in the 1960s.

Now, everyone seems to do them.

I think that is just another pointer that the catholic revival in the Church of England won all of the superficial battles, but did rather less well at the substance... (See also the widespread use of altar candles, stoles, wafers...)
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
I have never attended any church that keeps Candlemas - maybe it isn't observed in Australia.I'm not even sure of its significance.

St Sanity observed it on the following Sunday but as the Feast of the Presentation. Madame and I went to a Catholic church on the day itself (no Anglican one available nearby), and it too was a celebration of the Presentation - albeit one with a congregational procession into the church, each person carrying a lit candle.

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Forthview
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Surely 'Candlemas' is simply a popular name for the festival held forty days after Christmas and commemorating both the ritual 'purification' of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple.In the RC church nowadays the feast is treated as a Feast of the Lord rather than a Marian festival,but the same Gospel is read.
Perhaps those who ask about 'Candlemas' and whether it was kept ,are asking really about the procession with the candles and the blessing of candles for use at the altar throughout the year. This procession came in later and may be something which came from pre Christian Rome in the month of February,the month dedicated to febrile or feverish activity of spring cleaning.

Certainly every Catholic church which had a Mass on 2nd February would have commemorated Candlemas,though probably only a few would have had the candle ceremony and only a few would have had special singing.

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Callan
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Originally posted by Enoch:

quote:
I've no more seen Candlemas spelt with a second 's', than Christmas spelt that way. That does look a bit like an Anglo-Catholic affectation.
I dug out an old file on the computer to sort out the Candlemas responsory. To my chagrin I saved it as Candlemass, but obviously common sense prevailed because it was spelt Candlemas on the document itself!

ETA: I have seen Christmas spelt Christmass but, to be fair that was an Anglo-Catholic Church in Brighton.

There was a low church Anglican in the 19th Century, called Thomas Massey who insisted that Christmas ought to be called Christtide and Candlemas Candletide. His detractors referred to him as Tomtide Tidey.

[ 06. February 2018, 10:50: Message edited by: Callan ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:I've no more seen Candlemas spelt with a second 's', than Christmas spelt that way. That does look a bit like an Anglo-Catholic affectation.. [/QB]
Yes - and Michaelmass. It's the mass that matters.

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I dug out an old file on the computer to sort out the Candlemas responsory. To my chagrin I saved it as Candlemass, but obviously common sense prevailed because it was spelt Candlemas on the document itself!

ETA: I have seen Christmas spelt Christmass but, to be fair that was an Anglo-Catholic Church in Brighton.

There was a low church Anglican in the 19th Century, called Thomas Massey who insisted that Christmas ought to be called Christtide and Candlemas Candletide. His detractors referred to him as Tomtide Tidey.

[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]
Serve him right. He was asking for it.

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Basilica
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
But the way it works is a bit clunky: there are still (even with this year's early Easter) a couple of weeks Ordinary time between Candlemas and Ash Wednesday.

I wonder if it's because this period is also prone to liturgical tinkering, with "Creation Sunday" and "Transfiguration Sunday". Might the odd transference rules about Candlemas be attempting to preserve these oddities in the calendar?
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BroJames
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I suspect it’s more to do with having a simple rule which never risks colliding with Lent (which can begin as early as 4th February).
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TomM
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quote:
Originally posted by BroJames:
I suspect it’s more to do with having a simple rule which never risks colliding with Lent (which can begin as early as 4th February).

There is a simple rule for that already: keep festivals on their proper dates, and get people to get over the habit of God being for an hour on a Sunday morning! <NB: a little tongue in cheek!>
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Bishops Finger
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If only...

One of our Churchwardens, along with the Treasurer, frequently complains that our Sunday morning Eucharist is TOO LONG, even though it only very rarely lasts more than an hour.

If she were to take her Warden's duties seriously, she'd be at church to welcome people at least 15 minutes in advance, but no - she always arrives towards the end of the first hymn.

[Roll Eyes]

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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