Simeon the Godreceiver by Alexei Yegorov. 1830–40s
|Venerated in|| Eastern Orthodox Church |
Roman Catholic Church
|Major shrine||Church of St. Simeon in Zadar, Croatia|
|Attributes||Depicted as an elderly man, sometimes vested as a Jewish priest, often shown holding the infant Jesus|
Simeon (Simeon the God-receiver) at the Temple is the "just and devout" man of Jerusalem who, according to Luke 2:25–35 , met Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as they entered the Temple to fulfill the requirements of the Law of Moses on the 40th day from Jesus' birth at the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
According to the Biblical account, Simeon had been visited by the Holy Spirit and told that he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Christ. On taking Jesus into his arms he uttered a prayer, which is still used liturgically as the Latin Nunc dimittis in many Christian churches, and gave a prophecy alluding to the crucifixion.
In some Christian traditions, this meeting is commemorated on February 2 as Candlemas, or more formally, the Presentation of the Lord, the Meeting of the Lord, or the Purification of the Virgin. His prophecy is used in the context of Our Lady of Sorrows. Simeon is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions. His feast day is October 8 in the revised Martyrology of the Roman Catholic Church.
The sole mention in the New Testament of Simeon is as follows:
Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel." And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." - Luke 2:25–35 , RSV-2CE
The text suggests that Simeon was the officiating priest. Some writers have identified this Simeon with Shimon ben Hillel, although Hillel was not a priest.
According to a tradition in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Simeon had been one of the seventy-two translators of the Septuagint. As he hesitated over the translation of Isaiah 7:14 (LXX: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive...") and was going to correct it to γυνή (woman), an angel appeared to him and told him that he would not die until he had seen the Christ born of a virgin. This would make him well over two hundred years old at the time of the meeting described in Luke, and therefore miraculously long-lived.
The events in the life of Saint Simeon the Righteous are observed on both February 2 and 3. The observances of the first day center around memorializing the act of Mary undergoing an act of ritual purification, and presenting Jesus, her child, to the Temple, a feast day known as the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Since this day focuses more on Jesus and Mary, the observation on February 3 is specific to St. Simeon, who was allowed to die after seeing the Christ (or Messiah) born of a virgin. In Christian tradition, the day of a saint's death is often celebrated as the saint's feast day.
Under Mosaic law, a mother who had given birth to a man-child was considered unclean for seven days; moreover she was to remain for three and thirty days "in the blood of her purification", which makes a total of 40 days. The Christian Feast of the Purification therefore corresponds to the day on which Mary, according to Jewish law (see Leviticus 12:2–8), should have attended a ceremony of ritual purification.[ citation needed ] The Gospel of Luke 2:22–39 relates that Mary was purified according to the religious law, followed by Jesus's presentation in the Jerusalem temple, and this explains the formal names given to the festival.
In the liturgy of Evening prayer in the Anglican communion, Anglicans recite the Nunc dimittis – or sing it in Evensong in the canticle known as the Song of Simeon – traditionally, every evening. It is also used in the Roman Catholic Compline and Orthodox Vespers. The Nunc dimittis has been set to music by many notable composers, such as Rachmaninoff (All-Night Vigil).
The feast on February 2 is often referred to as Candlemas , as in honor of the ritual purification of the Virgin Mary, candles (of beeswax) which will be used for the entire year are brought into a church and blessed. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Presentation is the fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary. In the Church of England, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple is a Principal Feast. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, it is one of the twelve Great Feasts.
This feast day has a number of different names:
Simeon the Righteous is commemorated in his own right on February 3. In the Anglican Communion, Simeon is not venerated with a festal observance, and February 3 is set aside to recognize Anskar (801–865), a missionary, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen and first Bishop in Sweden, 864.
In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, Simeon is commemorated with Anna the Prophetess on February 3 on the Feast of the Holy and Righteous Simeon the God-Receiver and Anna the Prophetess.
While both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches agree on the setting of the date of Candlemas on the 40th day after Christmas (in accordance with the Mosaic Law), the difference in the marking of Christmas – December 25 results over a theological dispute related to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar over the older Julian Calendar. December 25 currently occurs 13 days later on the Julian Calendar than on the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian revision of the calendar occurred in 1582, well after the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Christian churches in 1054.
As a result, many Orthodox Christians celebrate St. Simeon's feast day on February 16. As mentioned above, the Orthodox Church celebrates St. Simeon on the day after the Feast of the Presentation, that is to say, February 3. However, for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, February 3 falls on February 16 of the modern Gregorian Calendar.[ citation needed ]
The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Nativity of Christ on January 6, and so their celebration of the Presentation, which they call The Coming of the Son of God into the Temple is on February 14.
In Roman Catholic Christian theology, the Immaculate Conception is the conception of the Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the merits of her son Jesus. The Catholic Church teaches that God acted upon Mary in the first moment of her conception, keeping her "immaculate". Other Christian denominations have a range of views on the matter.
The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years.
The Assumption of Mary into Heaven is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy, the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
In the Catholic Church, holy days of obligation are days on which the faithful are expected to attend Mass, and engage in rest from work and recreation, according to the Third Commandment.
The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox celebration of the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Jewish messiah and Son of God, marking His Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus, meaning "YHWH is salvation".
Anna or Anna the Prophetess is a woman mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. According to that Gospel, she was an elderly woman of the Tribe of Asher who prophesied about Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem. She appears in Luke 2:36–38 during the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
The Presentation of Jesus atthe Temple is an early episode in the life of Jesus, describing his presentation at the Temple in Jerusalem in order to officially induct him into Judaism, that is celebrated by many Christian Churches on the holiday of Candlemas. It is described in the chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Within the account, "Luke's narration of the Presentation in the Temple combines the purification rite with the Jewish ceremony of the redemption of the firstborn ."
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known in the East as The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, is a liturgical feast celebrated on November 21 by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the feast of the Resurrection of Jesus, called Pascha (Easter), is the greatest of all holy days and as such it is called the "feast of feasts". Immediately below it in importance, there is a group of Twelve Great Feasts. Together with Pascha, these are the most significant dates on the Orthodox liturgical calendar. Eight of the great feasts are in honor of Jesus Christ, while the other four are dedicated to the Virgin Mary — the Theotokos.
Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Dolours, the Sorrowful Mother or Mother of Sorrows, and Our Lady of Piety, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows or Our Lady of the Seven Dolours are names by which the Virgin Mary is referred to in relation to sorrows in her life. As Mater Dolorosa, it is also a key subject for Marian art in the Catholic Church.
In Christianity, the Visitation is the visit of St. Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus, to St. Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 1:39–56.
The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph. Veneration of the Holy Family was formally begun in the 17th century by Saint François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, who founded a Confraternity.
The Feast of the Circumcision of Christ is a Christian celebration of the circumcision of Jesus in accordance with Jewish tradition, eight days after his birth, the occasion on which the child was formally given his name.
Marian devotions are external pious practices directed to the person of Mary, mother of Jesus, by members of certain Christian traditions. They are performed in Catholicism, Anglo-Catholicism, and Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, but generally rejected but some practices in Protestant denominations.
Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40. In accordance with Leviticus 12: a woman was to be purified by presenting lamb as a burnt offering, and either a young pigeon or dove as sin offering, 33 days after a boy's circumcision. It falls on February 2, which is traditionally the 40th day of the Christmas–Epiphany season. While it is customary for Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night, those in other Christian countries historically remove them on Candlemas. On Candlemas, many Christians also bring their candles to their local church, where they are blessed and then used for the rest of the year; for Christians, these blessed candles serve as a symbol of Jesus Christ, who referred to Himself as the Light of the World.
The Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is a feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the aspect of her motherhood of Jesus Christ, whom Christians see as the Lord, Son of God. It is celebrated by the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church on 1 January, the Octave (8th) day of Christmastide. The solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation in areas that have not abrogated it.
Principal Feasts are a type of observance in some churches of the Anglican Communion, including the Church of England. All Principal Feasts are also Principal Holy Days, sharing equal status with those Principal Holy Days which are not Principal Feasts. They are considered to be the most significant type of observance, the others being Festivals, Lesser Festivals, and Commemorations. As with all Principal Holy Days, their observance is obligatory. The Anglican Principal Feasts and Principal Holy Days are somewhat comparable to Roman Catholic Solemnities and Holy days of obligation.
The Feast of the Annunciation, contemporarily the Solemnity of the Annunciation, also known as Lady Day, the Feast of the Incarnation, Conceptio Christi, commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is celebrated on 25 March each year. In the Roman Catholic Church, when 25 March falls during the Paschal Triduum, it is transferred forward to the first suitable day during Eastertide. In Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism, it is never transferred, even if it falls on Pascha (Easter). The concurrence of these two feasts is called Kyriopascha.
Anglican Marian theology is the summation of the doctrines and beliefs of Anglicanism concerning Mary, mother of Jesus. As Anglicans believe that Jesus was both human and God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity, within the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglican movement, Mary is accorded honour as the theotokos, a Koiné Greek term that means "God-bearer" or "one who gives birth to God".
Marian feast days are specific holy days of the liturgical year recognized by Christians as significant Marian days for the celebration of events in the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her veneration. The number of Marian feasts celebrated, their names can vary among Christian denominations.
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