February 2nd-At Last
It has come and it has gone; that day in the year that many of us look forward to without our even realizing it.
February 2nd is known in the church as Candlemas or the Festival Day of the Candles – the day that all the candles that are used in the church for the coming year are blessed.
Candles were used in the church in times past as a method of lighting but people also believed that they gave protection against illness and famine. For Christians candles are a reminder that Jesus is the light of the world.
Candlemas is also associated with the prediction of weather. If the weather is bright and sunny, more wintery weather is on the way. If the day is cloudy, the worst of the winter weather is behind us.
In Canada and the United States we attribute these predictions to ground hogs – Wiarton Willie in Ontario and Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania, hence Ground Hog Day being celebrated on February 2nd.
February 2nd is the day of winter that marks the midway point between the shortest day of the winter and the spring equinox!
So, my friends, it is now a downward slide to spring!
The number of hours of sunshine is increasing noticeably and the “normal” temperatures should now be on the rise. We have made it better than halfway!
But as I rejoice about the coming of spring, I must keep in mind that through the coming days, beginning on February 13th we will find ourselves observing Lent once again.
We will walk that journey together again as we prepare ourselves for an exceptionally early Easter this year.
As you give some thought to the coming of spring also give some thought to what your Lenten discipline will be this year – “self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, reading and meditating on the word of God.” However you choose to observe
Lent, remember the “Light of the World” and how he has made a difference in your life.
Rev. Sue McCullough
Anglican Parish of Morrisburg, Iroquois & Riverside Heights