The Presentation of Our Lord
February 2 – The Presentation of Our Lord –
Counting forward from December 25 as Day One, we find that Day Forty is February 2. A Jewish woman is in semi-seclusion for 40 days after giving birth to a son, and accordingly it is on February 2 that we celebrate the coming of Mary and Joseph with the infant Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem to offer sacrifice, both on behalf of Mary and on behalf of Jesus as a first-born male. As they did so, they were greeted by the aged Simeon who bursts into a spontaneous song of praise. His song, called the Nunc Dimittis, has always had a prominent role in Christian worship. It is sung every night at Compline.
Image: Simeon with the Christ child. 2014. Oil on canvas. 90×70. Artist A.N. Mironov