"...We humbly entreat Thee, that ... Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless † and sanctify † these candles for the service of men and for the health of their bodies and souls..."
Procedamus in pace
Candlemas, feast of the presentation of our Lord in the Temple and the purification of our Lady, brings Christ our Light sharply into focus. The candles we carry in procession at the beginning of the day's solemn liturgy call to mind the watchful expectation with which we wait His coming. They symbolize Him, they remind each of the baptized of our baptismal candle and our resolve ever to bear witness to Him and to be His light in the world, but perhaps most strongly, they remind us as consecrated women of the candle we held for each step of our religious life: clothing, profession, perpetual profession, and which we hope to hold again as we approach our last breath.
"The same Divine plan — which had required that Mary should be espoused to Joseph, in order that her fruitful Virginity might not seem strange in the eyes of the people — now obliged her to come, like other Israelite mothers, to offer the sacrifice of Purification, for the Birth of the Son, whom she had conceived by the operation of the power of the Holy Ghost, but who was to be presented in the Temple as the Son of Mary, the Spouse of Joseph. Thus it is, that Infinite Wisdom delights in showing that his thoughts are not our thoughts, and in disconcerting our notions; he claims the submissiveness of our confidence, until the time come that he has fixed for withdrawing the veil, and showing himself to our astonished view." - Dom Gueranger