Hymn for the Presentation of Our Lord
and Purification of the Blessed Virgin, February 2
In Catholic Europe, the popular feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin went back a long way, having started in Jerusalem in the 4th century. In England, it came to be called "Candlemas," from the candlelight procession to honor Christ the Light being presented by law in the Temple. Hence the co-name of the day, the Presentation of the Lord.
Prophet Malachi had long beforehand predicted this happy event of God concretely entering his own Temple. The fulfillment of it was discovered by the elderly prophets Simeon and Anna. We Catholics rediscover it each year on Februay 2, the 40th day from Christmas. Candles are blessed, and usually one is retained in each Catholic home. The present text, See Malachi, God’s Ancient Seer, is new, and it provides a chant for the people to emphasize this important feast day.
The tune is an old plainsong, known by the Latin words, Jesu dulcis memoria.
2. See Joseph come with Mary spouse
And Child true Son of David seem’d;
They bring the Firstborn to God’s House,
That He be God - gift and redeem’d.
3. See elder Simeon meeting Christ,
With fearful word of heartfelt sword;
Whence many souls will fall and rise,
And Gentiles greet the light-filled Lord.
4. See matron Anna testify,
Likewise by Holy Spirit used,
And hear the Holy Infant’s cry,
Portending dawn of God’s Good News.
5. See throngs of Christians down the years
Sing candle-Mass with burning Light;
Chant Nunc dimittis warm with tears,
And greet the Daystar, gone the night.
6. Praise God the Father for His Son,
And thank th'unveiling Holy Ghost,
That Heavenly Three Who live in One,
Adored by saints and angel host.