Candlemas is one of the less well-known Christian festivals.

We remember Mary and Joseph taking the infant Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem to be consecrated, as a first-born son (Luke 2: 22-40).

Simeon, the priest, held the baby in his arms and declared Jesus to be the Lord's salvation and "a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for the glory of your people Israel".

Anna, the prophetess, gave thanks to God and told anyone who would listen about the child who would redeem Jerusalem.

Children respond to the symbolism of hope and light contained within this story, and it offers opportunities for reflection and liturgical play.

This festival marks the end of the Christmas season - the last opportunity for the lighting of the Christmas wreath, before the colours in church are changed to green.

Candlemas resources

Candlemas Workshop Telling the story of Candlemas with a variety of responses including decorating candles and doves.

Candlemas Under 5s The story of Candlemas adapted for pre-schoolers