Talk:Purification of the Virgin

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Candlemas and Durham[edit]

An edit I placed explaining that Candlemas was the principle Ball of St Chad's College at Durham University and that this was a major university wide event was deleted as having been, "made up at school" this is simple nonsense, Candlemas has been occuring at St Chads College for at least 15 years and maybe much more. It is a big event which is timed to fall on Candlemas and is called 'the Candlemas Ball.' This is corroborated by: [[1]] an official Durham University web-page listing the event.

Candlemas and calendars[edit]

The article states Candlemas corresponds with specific astronomic relationships with the solar 6th planet Saturn and involves the pairing of Saturn with the Moon (in physical astronomical observation). This is gobbledey gook. Does anyone know what it means? 15:17, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Agreed astronomy is unhelpful.So far as I can tell, it just says that there are specific astronomic events that occur at the time of Candlemas. As Candlemas occurs at the same time every year, that is bound to be true, and is completely uninformative given that nothing is said about how these particular astronomical events connect to the origins or celebration of Candlemas. As it stands it's just irrelevant and I've cut it. seglea 19:34, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Well the Saturn stuff is jibberish to be sure. But the part about it being on the eight-fold solar cycle is possibly based on an astronomical fact. I think it means is that if you divide the solar year into eight equal divisions of time, i.e., the equinoxes, solstices, plus the four days roughly midway between, you get four extra "mid season" days which generally are more typical of the season itself than the equinoxes or solstices. The other days seem to be celebrated in some form in many traditions
I think mentioning of this astronomical fact is probably worthy in the article, if not in the opening paragraph
The astronomical basis of this day would mean that its not necessary to draw any inferences about influences. Argubably, any culture which used a solar calendar would probably see this day as significant in some form.
I guess the Scottish Quarter days addresses this idea somewhat, so there is a link to it. I don't know the cultural background of these days, but my impression is that the solar cycle aspect is widespread. But that could be a mistaken impression. Someone who knows more about this could certainly add to the article in that way. I don't want to endorse spurious neopagan interpretations of history, but this is one that might have a basis in fact. -- Decumanus 19:57, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Quite correct observations all around. There is no pairing of any planet with the moon on the same day of the year. But the article now begins with more gobbledygook: Observed on February 2nd, Candlemas marks the end of the Christmas season in the Western Christian calendar. Candlemas and the calendar are only connected because Candlemas is a Quarter day, when certain payments fall due and certain "quarter sessions" of courts sit. It is not the end of the "Christmas season," which ends at Epiphany— whenever that may be celebrated. Wetman 20:17, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)
That last remark is not true, actually: the Christmas feast ends at Epiphany, but the Sundays after Epiphany until Candlemas ( are still part of the Christmas season, liturgically. After that you are into the Lent cycle, with Septuagesima, Sexagesima there to pad out the Sundays depending on when Lent begins. The rest of the article seems to me to make quite clear why Candlemas is connected to the calendar.

It's also not true on the Western calendar that Candlemas is really a mid-season day, though I agree it could have been originally. We probably need a medieval historian on this one. seglea 20:57, 2 Feb 2004 (UTC)

I just changed the main page slightly because I did not see the below draft. Because modern society now dictates the placement and celebration of most holidays for modern covenience and such, the dates of most ancient holidays are no longer exact. But this doesn't discount them. In addition to what I changed I also think that the mention of 'Christians' should be linked to the Christian page. Re 'Earth centered religion' please find a more appropiate term instead of discounting my entire edit. -- Sunja

I understand the point you are trying to make, but this holiday seems to get easily surrounded by lots of misinformation. As for the term "earth-centered religion", I'm sorry but that's up to you to find a more appropriate term. Moreover, even if the date February 2 is itself significant to other religions, the term "Candlemas" is, as far as I know, only a Christian holiday.-- Decumanus 21:37, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)
Absolutely. Sunja (is this the anonymous user - if so, please get yourself a user id, it's free and it makes conversation easier) is right that Christian needs a link, though, and I've put that in. I'll also move the opening para round a bit to make it clearer to someone who's never heard of the various rites and festivals of the Christian year. Sunja, the trouble with the astronomical stuff you are trying to put in is that it is making no sense to anyone. In this article, the right place for it to go would be in the "Relation to non-Christian celebrations" section, perhaps as a potential explanation for why there is a clustering of festivals at that time of the year. But it has to have some scholarly support - Decumanus is correct that all sorts of wild claims have been made about the origins of Candlemas, most of them entirely without historical or other evidence. seglea 22:11, 3 Feb 2004 (UTC)
I think the words, "In Christianity,... at the opening are enough, as you'd begin "In biology,..."

What i was trying to put in was that although Candlemas is now mostly observed in its christian form, it hasn't always been so. And though I don't know where the exact name 'Candlemas' came in I do know that the holiday was celebrated much as christmas is today; by many faiths and with different customs. And was basically about the solar year cycle. Having said that I think the page is fine, perhaps a bit too much in depth religion though.:~) sunja

This phrase confuses me: "except that the ecclesiastic December 25th of most Orthodox Christians falls on January 6th of the civil calendar" Does the Orthodox Church use a calendar that is always 13 days behind the rest of us, or was the author trying to say that they celebrate Christmas on January 6th? Any phrasing that essentially boils down to "Dec 25 falls on Jan 6" is bound to confuse people. ThePedanticPrick 01:45, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It is incorrect and misleading to say this feast falls on 15 February in the Orthodox Church. The date is 2 February all around. The Julian Calendar lags 13 days behind the Gregorian at this point which accounts for the difference, but the calendar date in both cases is 2 February just as the calendar date for Christmas is 25 December in both cases even though the actual day is different. Besides, many Orthodox Churches now use the Gregorian Calendar for the fixed feast days including the Churches of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Greece, Romania, Poland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and America. In other words, a majority of the Churches (although still a minority of the Orthodox Christians) now celebrate this feast on the same actual day as Western Christianity as well as the same calendar date. Csernica 23:48, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

So, the date called "2 February" in the unreformed calendar now falls on 15 February, but many Orthodox churches have now reformed their calendars. Is that it? If that's all it is, I'll revise the text. The minute details might be taken up at Calendar or something, as long as the text here is clear and accurate and relates specifically to Candlemas. --Wetman 04:30, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It's a bit more complicated than that, but as you have it here will probably do for the purposes of this article. Csernica 11:00, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
A fuller discussion might help lead to a simple conclusion. There should be no lingering confusion about the reasons for the dating of Candlemas. --Wetman 21:27, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The complication is that for computing the date of Easter and the feasts depending on it, all Orthodox Churches still use the old style Julian Calendar, so no Orthodox Church has wholeheartedly adopted the new reckoning. But this has little to do with the date of Candlemas, so there may not be much point in mentioning either it or the controversy in Orthodoxy surrounding the calendar question. Csernica 23:21, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)



A link was reinserted to fisheaters, previously removed as part of a sustained campaign of linkspamming spanning over 100 articles. Please discuss why you think this link is justified in this article. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 13:12, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

External links[edit]

The list of links looks excessive here. My reading of WP:EL indicates that if these pages include additional information then it should be merged, and the articles linked as references. For example, new advent is a reputable source, but what is on that page which is not and cannot be included in the article?

Listed for input as I am not an expert in nuances of theology. - Just zis  Guy, you know? [T]/[C] AfD? 20:27, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Greek-language article[edit]

I'm not seeing a link to any equivalent Greek-language Wikipedia article on this. Anybody? -- 21:38, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Suppression by Vatican II?[edit]

The article reads: "Since the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, this title of the feast has been suppressed in favor of the Presentation of the Lord with references to candles and the purification of Mary de-emphasized in favor of the Prophecy of Simeon." What is the basis for this assertion? I do not believe it is correct. JPSheridan 00:37, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

"Suppression" may be a little strong (I prefer replacement). This is what is written on the title page of the Sacramentary: "The Roman Missal revised by decree of the Second Vatican Council and published by authority of Pope Paul VI." The publishing date is 1974. In this Sacramentary today's feastday is called the Presentation of the Lord. That should be basis enough for this assertion. 13:00, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that "suppression" is too strong. I've changed it Certainly, nobody will be excommunicated for using the word "purification"! ElinorD 13:18, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to merge Purification of the Virgin and Presentation of Jesus at the Temple[edit]

For the discussion, see Talk:Presentation of Jesus at the Temple#Proposal to merge Purification of the Virgin and Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.  --LambiamTalk 16:19, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Candlemas Verse: Old English[edit]

Verifiable only through my grandmother, whose family "immigrated" from Wales during the revolutionary war, and refernced by Thoreau; the following verse would fit nicely following the bit about "in milk" and lambing. An old English verse, perpetuated by Northern farmers in the US to this day is: "Half your wood and half your hay, should remain to you on Candlemas day". This important point in mid-winter marks out the fact that, though by Feb 2, you're more than half way until spring weather, it's a ways yet before the grass etc. will have grown enough to feed your wintered livestock.

-- 22:05, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

That's not old English, though it may be old and originally from England. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:05, 2 February 2007 (UTC).

Date subsection[edit]

I have returned the Date subsection, which had been blanked some time ago. This article may need closer supervision. --Wetman 22:19, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


and in Anglican Churches it is known by various names, including... Presentation of Our Lord (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America),

Is there really anyone, including ELCA themselves, who considers ELCA an Anglican church? I know they're in communion with ECUSA, but that doesn't make them Anglicans. The Wednesday Island 02:42, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree! How can we word it differently? 19:04, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


It is my understanding that the word "Uniate" is considered derogatory by Eastern Catholics. If this is so, perhaps the word in the article should be replaced by "Eastern Catholics." 13:03, 2 February 2007 (UTC)


100% beeswax is no longer required. It is sufficient that they contain at least 51% beeswax. 13:44, 2 February 2007 (UTC)