A year ago, I'd have been on my way to Mepkin Abbey, and two years ago, I spent the same week-end at Mepkin Abbey.
It was my first time celebrating Candlemas, the feast day which occurs Feb. 2, which celebrates the day 40 days after his birth when Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the temple. The priest Simeon holds the light of the world in his hands.
The monks change their worship space, and often a piece of art helps commemorate the day. Above you see the art for Candlemas 2013. I was also struck the first year by a flowering branch.
Through the four days that I was there, the flowers unfurled.
It's the time of year when we're all longing for light. We get 30-60 more seconds of light each day, but in those tiny increments, it's hard to realize the small beginnings of spring.
It's a good week-end to think about the ways we can capture the light. Maybe we will light candles--strike a match against the darkness.
Maybe we'll hang colored glass at our windows--let the light scatter into colored sparkles.
Maybe, as the full Christmas season comes to a close, we'll enjoy the flowers of the season. Below, the amaryllis that was in the chapel last year.
And my poinsettia, which has lasted since Christmas 2013.
We all hold the light of the world inside us. In these darker days of winter, we need to remember to let that light shine brightly.
pause for silent prayer
6 months ago