Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (or in the temple) is an early episode in the life of Jesus Christ, describing his presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem, that is celebrated by many churches 40 days after Christmas on Candlemas, formally the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus. The episode is described in chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament.[1] Within the account, "Luke's narration of the Presentation in the Temple combines the purification rite with the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the firstborn (Luke 2:23–24)."[2]

Presentation at the Temple by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 1342 (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence)

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Presentation of Jesus at the temple is celebrated as one of the twelve Great Feasts, and is sometimes called Hypapante (Ὑπαπαντή, "meeting" in Greek).

The Orthodox Churches which use the Julian Calendar celebrate it on 15 February, and the Armenian Church on 14 February.

In Western Christianity, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is also known by its earlier name as the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin or the Meeting of the Lord.[3] In some liturgical calendars, Vespers (or Compline) on the Feast of the Presentation marks the end of the Epiphany season, also (since the 2018 lectionary) in the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD).[4] In the Church of England, the mother church of the Anglican Communion, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple is a Principal Feast celebrated either on 2 February or on the Sunday between 28 January and 3 February. In the Roman Catholic Church, especially since the time of Pope Gelasius I (492-496) who in the fifth century contributed to its expansion, the Feast of the Presentation is celebrated on 2 February.

In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, and the Lutheran Church, the episode was also reflected in the once-prevalent custom of churching of women forty days after the birth of a child. The Feast of the Presesentation of the Lord is in the Roman Rite also attached to the World Day of Consecrated Life.[5]

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