2 February: Presentation of the Lord

St Columba Altarpiece - Rogier van der Weyden c. 1455 - Munich

2 Feb: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, once called the Purification of Mary.  Also called “Candlemas” and even YPOPANTI AD SANCTAM MARIAM

Today’s Collect was in the 1962 Missal and is based on one in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary amidst the prayers “in purificatione sanctae Mariae” on the date iiii Nonas Februarias (read 2 February).

In the Gelasian it goes like this:

Deus, qui in hodierna die unigenitus tuus in nostra carne quam adsumpist pro nobis in templo est praesentatus, praesta, ut quem redemptorem nostrum laeti suscipimus, uenientem quoque iudicem securi videamus: …

When you go to your church for Candlemas, you might be privileged to here this:

COLLECT:
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
maiestatem tuam supplices exoramus,
ut, sicut unigenitus Filius tuus
hodierna die cum nostrae carnis substantia
in templo est praesentatus,
ita nos facias purificatis tibi mentibus praesentari.

LITERAL TRANSLATION:
Almighty and everlasting God,
we humbly beseech Thy majesty,
that, just as Thine only-begotten Son
was on this day in the substance of our flesh,
presented in the temple,
so too You may cause us, once our minds have been purified,
     to be presented unto you.

Here is a version I really enjoy, from the …

1559 Book of Common Prayer

(the first version ever brought to North American by the settlers at Jamestown):
Almyghtye and everlastyng God,
we humbly beseche thy Majestie,
that as thy onelye begotten sonne
was this day presented in the Temple
in the substaunce of our fleshe;
so graunte that we maie bee presented unto thee with pure and cleare myndes;

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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One Response to 2 February: Presentation of the Lord

  1. Henry Edwards says:

    “When you go to your church for Candlemas, you might be privileged to here this:”

    Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, maiestatem tuam supplices exoramus, …
    Almighty and everlasting God,we humbly beseech Thy majesty, …

    Fat chance! (What in the technical language of a mathematician I’d call an infinitesimal chance.) Instead, at every parish church within hundreds of miles of me you’ll instead hear the

    ICEL version
    All-powerful Father,
    Christ your Son became man for us
    and was presented in the temple.
    May he free our hearts from sin
    and bring us into your presence.

    Which really is not nearly so bad as usual. At least God remains “all-powerful” here — rather unusual for an ICEL prayer — even if shorn of that real “majesty” which we might “humbly beseech”. And he still gets to be presented in the temple on this day. (With ICEL you just never know how the basic story line might get changed in translation.) Of course, “the substance of our flesh” is out of the question, entirely too subtle for mere English-speaking worshipers; perhaps we cannot be expected to have the “pure and cleare myndes” of more fortunate peoples not subjected to the tyranny of ICEL.