Thursday, February 2, 2012

the presentation and chandeleur


Blessed Feast of the Presentation! Today, 40 days after Christmas, is the recognized feast of Jesus's Presentation in the temple. This was a Jewish custom, that newborn, firstborn sons were to be brought to the temple to be offered to the Lord. 40 days after His birth, that is exactly what Joseph and Mary did with Jesus. We also recognize the purification of Mary, another Jewish custom. Traditionally, today is also called Candlemas, as all the candles in the Church are blessed for the year. Since Vatican II in the 1960's, the purification of Mary and the blessing of candles have taken a lesser role to the prophecy of Simeon, the holy man who welcomed the Holy Family into the temple.

Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, 
according to your word,

for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.
Luke 2:29-32

France, of course, has its own traditions tied to this feast. Unfortunately, while there are very religious roots to the celebration, much of that has been lost in modern society and popular culture. The French traditionally eat crêpes on this feast, but it is very particular. You are not supposed to eat the crêpes until after 8pm, and then each member of the family or party is supposed to flip a crêpe in the pan, all while holding a gold coin in hand.

In honor of this feast, and the French tradition, I invited friends over for crêpes! As usual, we pretended to be French, but it was night of speaking not only French, but also some English, some German, and even some Polish thrown in there. It was also the first time I've ever personally made crêpes, batter and all, and they turned out great! I was so happy; it was delicious. I successfully flipped a crêpe with a gold coin in hand--I'll have good luck this year! We had a fun, cultural night :) Now I can't wait to host some crêpe parties in the States!

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.

pax christi.

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