Something should also be said about the two other names of this festival. In the Greek Church this festival is called, "Hypapante," that is, "Meeting." Our Lord Jesus is presented at the Temple, or to say it another way, He meets His people in the Temple. Hence, the title of Presentation.
The other title is Purification, this is actually a later addition to the original title of Presentation. In fact, Candlemas is even more ancient title than Presentation. But it is so named because this purification was the requirement of the old levitical law, that a mother would complete forty days after the birth of a male child. Performing the rite of purification by offering a sin offering and a burnt offering.
However, we celebrate something more than the fulfilling of levitical rites of purification. We see our Lord Jesus first coming to His Temple. And in His coming to the Temple, not only does He purify His mother Mary, but He begins His purification of us all. He meets us, He comes to us, and we gladly receive Him, even as the Prophet Simeon received Him up into His arms and blessed Him. For today we meet our Lord Jesus who is the Light of the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel.
Rejoice today as you receive the Lord into your hands and into your mouths through bread and wine, and rejoice with Simeon who having received his Lord into his arms, could depart in peace. We too, having received our Lord's Body and Blood in bread and wine, can now depart this life in peace, knowing full well, that He has come to us, and forgiven us of our sins.
Deacon Dulas is ordained into the pastorate and member of the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America (eldona.org). In his own words, "My call is to serve as deacon and missionary-at-large to MN and WI at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Tony, WI. We are starting a mission here in Mayer, MN, and the surrounding area called St. Matthew Ev. Luth. Mission."
Like what you are reading? Check out Deacon Dulas' blog at The Deacon's Didache.