Candlemas 2024: An Ancient Account of How Candlemas was Celebrated in the Fourth Century

The Fortieth Day after Epiphany [Candlemas, February 14] is observed here with special magnificence, On this day they assemble in the Anastasis [Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem]. Everyone gathers, and things are done with the same solemnity as at the feast of Easter. All the presbyters [priests] preach first, then the bishop, and they interpret the passage from the Gospel about Joseph and Mary taking the Lord to the Temple, and about Simeon and the prophetess Anna, daughter of Phanuel, seeing the Lord, and what they said to him, and about the sacrifice offered by his parents. When all the rest has been done in the proper way, they celebrate the sacrament and have their dismissal.

—Egeria, Abbess, Pilgrimage 26: SC 296, 254-256