Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feast of the Presentation

Presentation stained-glass in Baker City Cathedral
40 days has passed since Christmas, and this celebration of the presentation of Jesus is very meaningful, especially when we consider some Jewish traditions which the Holy Family were obliged to observe. Whenever a mother gave birth to a son, she would be considered impure for a whole week, and would not be permitted to enter the temple for a duration of 40 days. She would then spend the rest of the 33 days confined to her home. On the 40th day, which would be February 2nd, she would go to the temple for the ceremony of purification, besides having her son circumcised. The parents were also expected to present a gift to the High Priest, a pair of sheep if they were wealthy or a pair of turtle-doves if they were poor. Simeon received the infant Jesus at the temple and so on this occasion a triple ceremony was done, circumcision, purification and presentation, all of which have been combined together by the Catholic church as the Feast of the Presentation, beautifully portrayed in the above stained-glass window in our Cathedral here in Baker City.

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