Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Candlelit Holidays to Brighten Winter

On her blog, The Painted Prayerbook, Jan Richardson gives wonderful background on some early church holidays, which unfortunately seem to have collapsed into Groundhog's Day as the only day that most of us celebrate. Go here to read about Candlemas and here to read about the Feast of St. Brigid and to enjoy some wonderful art.

How sad that the modern Church has lost sight of this need for light and warmth and let most of these ancient traditions slide away from us.

Sure we're a day or two past the official celebration times, but why not light some candles and contemplate their meaning again?

I've always wished that Christmas came in February, when the dreary weather finally began to get on my last nerve (well, it did when I lived further north) and I needed something cheery. Even Valentine's Day didn't brighten my mood, since it always reminded me of childhood times, when I was hoping to get a special Valentine, but didn't, or when someone else always got more than I did.

So, I'll enjoy these last few days and weeks before Lent begins by lighting candles, baking the bread that I never got around to baking for Christmas (to celebrate St. Brigid's reputation for butter that is always replenished), and thinking about God's generosity and luminous presence.

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