Blessing of Candles and Procession

The entrance rite today is quite similar to the entrance rite for Passion (Palm) Sunday, except that on this feast members of the community carry candles instead of palms.


The Roman Missal provides for a full‑blown procession, with the assembly and its ministers first gathering in a separate place before processing into the church. If the solemn entrance is used instead, the assembly gathers in the church as usual. The presid­er then greets the assembly and blesses the candles from the entrance of the church and then processes with the ministers to the altar, while all hold their lighted candles.


A song is sung at the very beginning of the liturgy, while the candles of the people are lit and while the ministers take their places either in a place apart from the church or at the church entrance. The antiphon provided in the Missal expresses the notion that God brings “light to the eyes of those who serve him well.” Many of the song suggestions listed below would also be appropriate.


The same or another song may be used to accompany the procession of the assembly and/or the ministers into the church. The Roman Missal uses an antiphon that speaks of “a light of revelation to the nations,” along with verses drawn from the Canticle of Simeon, which we hear proclaimed in today's Gospel. Several settings of the canticle, along with some other appropriate songs for the procession, are listed below.


After the members of the assembly and the ministers have taken their places, the Mass continues with the singing of the Gloria.


Malachi 3:1-4. The prophet condemns the priestly caste at the Temple for not being faithful to the covenant or to their own responsibilities. When we hear such condemnations, do we thank God that we are not among those being condemned, or do we realize that God’s presence always leads to condemnation or to liberation, depending on what we bring to an encounter with that presence?


Psalm of the Day: Ps (23) 24
This song was sung by pilgrims as they reached the Temple. Standing outside, they called on the gates to lift up. From inside the Temple, voices sang back a question of faith: “Who is the king of glory?” The answer, given in faith, allows access to the Temple.


Let the Lord Enter (Proulx) RS 48
Open Wide Your Gates (Keil) GC 34/GC2 25/RS 47
Who Is the King of Glory (Armstrong/Somerville) CBW 214
Who Is the King of Glory (Englert) PC7 60
Who Is This King of Glory (Guimont) RS 49
Who Is This King of Glory (Proulx/Gelineau) WOR 1024


Hebrews 2:14-18. Jesus came as an enemy agent, subverting the devil’s plan that death would separate us from God. By dying himself, he changed the meaning of human life.


Luke 2:22-40. Using the long form of this reading will allow you to include the reference to Anna, one of the few people in the Bible described as a “prophetess.” It will also make note of Luke's tendency to include the witness of women to Jesus at a time when such witness was not allowed in law courts. The meeting with Simeon includes a summary of Jewish faith—that God is always at work to liberate the people—coupled with the Christian expansion of that faith to include “all the peoples.”


Songs for the Liturgy

A Light of Revelation (Proc) WOR 1024/WOR4 1212
Arise and Shine (1,G) CBW 341
Arise, O Jerusalem (1,G) JS 217
Arise, Shine (1,G) G 155
Arise, Shine Forth, Your Light Has Come (1,G) CBW 342
Arise Your Light Has Come!  (1,G) WOR4 583

**Canticle of Simeon (G) JS 234/JS3 124,125,857/CBW 728/WC 487/WS 401
Child of Mercy (G) RS 506/GC 357/GC2 368/G3 431/SS 681
Christ Be Our Light (G) BB-MI 594/GC2 512 /G3 590/GP3 683/JS3 824/OFUV 625/OIF 867/SPS 207/SS 808
*Hail to the Lord Who Comes (G) WOR 692
Hallelujah Song (1,2,G) LMGM 90/LMGM2 452
*In His Temple Now Behold Him (G) BB 201/JS 233/JS3 488
In the Darkness Shines the Splendor CBW 346
Joy to the World (Ps) BB 79/CBW 328/CH 208/FYC3 289/ GC 343/GC2 353/G3 437/GP 125/GP3 240/JS 194/JS3 303/LMGM 19/LMGM2 249/OFUV 379/OIF 388/RS 524/SS 693/WOR 399/WOR4 424/WC 522/WS 440
Kindle a Flame to Lighten the Dark RS 861
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence BB 205/CH 377/CBW 596/GC 540/GC2 542/G3 619/GP3 730/JS 203/JS3 591/OFUV 584/OIF 550/RS 658/WC 685/WOR 523/WS 580
*Let the King of Glory Come (Ps) BB 61/GP 135/GP3 225/JS 187/JS3 285
*Lift Up Your Heads, Eternal Gates (Ps) GC2 341
*Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates (Ps) BB 70/JS 169/JS3 286/SS 650/WOR 363
*Lord, Bid Your Servant Go in Peace (G) WOR 691/CH 439/RS 874
*Lord God, Now You Have Set Your Servant Free (G) CBW 680
Lord, Today (1,G) G 157/RS 536/GC 375/GC2 385/G3 464
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, v 3 (1) BB-MI 472/ CBW 625/CH 454/ GC 622/GC2 613/G3 641/GP 158/GP3 662/JS 391/JS3 709/OFUV 696/OIF 743/RS 743/SS 854/WC 857/ WOR 588/WOR4 642/WS 695
*Now Let Your Servant Go (G) GC 776/GC2 767/G3 874
*Nunc Dimittis (G) WOR 676/WOR4 126
Of the Father's Love Begotten (2) BB 85/ /JS 200/CH 220/CBW 330/GC 351/GC2 374/G3 427/RS 510/ LMGM2 266/OFUV 395/OIF 403/SS 678/WC 516/ WOR 398/WOR4 415/WS 446
Our Father by Whose Name (G)   CH 621/RS 961/WOR 570
Priestly People/Pueblo de Reyes (2,G) JS 749/OIF 669/WC 786/WS 637
The King of Glory (Ps) BB-MI 725/LMGM2 341/ CH 541/ GC 486/GC2 494/G3 572/GP 128/GP3 368/RS 628/JS 598/ JS3 470/OFUV 514/OIF 640/WC 763/WOR 501/WOR4 565/WS 614
The King Shall Come   SPS 143

The Light of Christ BB-MI 600/CBW 394/JS 690
The Lord Will Come (Proc) WOR 1023