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What means a holiday of the Presentation of the Lord?

the Holiday of the Presentation of the Lord celebrated on February 15 (on old style - on February 2) are among great twelve great holidays of Orthodox Church. In east countries the Candlemas is known from 4th century, and in the West - since the 5th century. This holiday is established in honor of memory of one of the most significant events in the history of relationship of the Lord with mankind.

More than two thousand years ago, for the fortieth day after Jesus Christ`s birth, his parents - Virgin Mary and just Saint Joseph, brought the Divine Child to the Jerusalem temple that according to the existing law to send the firstborn to gift to God and to thank the highest forces for his birth.

In Bogoroditsu and Iosif`s temple just Simeon who, on representations of orthodox belief, was one of translators of the Scripture of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek met. Once, being young people, Simeon worked on the translation of the book of the prophet Isaiah, he doubted a prediction that Christ will be born from the terrestrial woman. He even wanted to correct the text, but during this moment to Simeon the angel was and told that for his doubt he will not die until with own eyes does not see Christ Redeemer.

Having turned a look on the Baby, just Simeon understood that it and is a long-awaited miracle. Conducted by divine providence, the Saint took it on hands and told the following words: Nowadays You release the slave Tvoyego, the Lord, by your word, with the world because saw my eyes your rescue which You ugotovat before the person of all people . A witness to this great event was also the aged prophetess Anna who always was in the temple, almost all the time carrying out in diligent and sincere prayers to the Lord.

According to history, from 544 g in Byzantium the decision to celebrate the Presentation of the Lord more solemnly was made. The matter is that misfortunes fell upon the country one behind one: the natural cataclysms unknown to an illness which were carrying away on several thousands of people a day. In 544 g to Christians there was a sign after which they solemnly made the All-night vigil and religious procession, and soon disasters stopped, and in gratitude to God the Candlemas began to be celebrated with big honors.

On the Candlemas holiday on church church services it is accepted to consecrate candles. This custom originates from the most ancient tradition to arrange this day festive procession along the city with the lit candles and lamps which much is similar to religious procession. Sretensky prayful chants contain a request of Christians for that the burning candles the light dispersed a gloom of night and ignorance in our souls. The Sretensky candle - a symbol of culture and a favoring of soul the Holy Spirit.

The main esteemed shrine of the Presentation of the Lord is Blessed Virgin Mary`s icon Softening of evil hearts or Simeonovo pro-set phrase . The Gospel from Saint Luka became a basis of an iconography of this holiday: on all icons of the Candlemas key action is the image of transfer of Prechisty Devoy Mladentsa on hands to Simeon, at the same time behind the back for it - just Iosif who holds several pigeons in hand, and behind all - the prophetess Anna.

The word Candlemas from old Slavic language it is translated as meeting and pleasure . It was the meeting not only Saint Simeon with miracle which he waited for all life, but also Christ Redeemer`s meeting with the whole world. And this meeting is always open for us as true pleasure.

Not for nothing in day of the Presentation of the Lord often remember an evangeliysky parable a meeting in the temple of the publican and Pharisee. The publican lived very modestly, was not held in respect, was not loved by anybody, however always sincerely helped people around and was happy it. The publican considered himself unworthy to live in this world and dared to enter even the God`s temple, he is a sinner deprived of civil rights. The Pharisee tried to live as the righteous person, created good causes, helped people, but considered them unworthy and guilty, and all his kind acts were dictated only by arrogance. Thus, apparently, the righteous life of the Pharisee was comparable with the sinner`s life, and the humble publican found rescue And before each of us the way which the Lord blessed on mercy, care of neighbors and forgiveness is always open for