February 2, 2019 Length: 1:40
When the ever-virgin Mary's forty days of purification were passed, according to the Law of Moses she took her son Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, to dedicate him to God as her first-born son. At the temple the Lord's parents offered the sacrifice of a pair of doves (Luke 2:22-23), from which we learn that they were poor, since those who were able were required to offer a lamb. At the Temple, the Lord was met by Zacharias, father of St John the Baptist, and by the aged, righteous Symeon, who had awaited the salvation of God for many years. (Sts Symeon and Anna are commemorated tomorrow.) We are told that some Pharisees, seeing the child Jesus recognized as the Messiah of Israel, were enraged, and went to tell King Herod. Realizing that this must be the child of whom he had been warned, Herod immediately sent soldiers to kill Him. But the righteous Joseph, warned in dream, fled with the child and his wife, the most holy Theotokos, into Egypt, and they were preserved.
The Feast of the Meeting of the Lord was observed in Jerusalem at least from the fourth century. Its observance was brought to Constantinople by the Emperor Justinian in 542. In the West it is called the Feast of the Purification of the Mother of God, or Candlemas Day.