The holiday was established in memory of a significant event for Christians — meeting (slavyansk. Meeting) in the Temple of Jerusalem Infant Jesus with the righteous elder Simeon.
Candlemas in the Roman Catholic Church — a holiday of purification of the Virgin Mary, dedicated to the remembrance of the offering of the baby Jesus in the temple and the ritual cleansing committed by his mother on the fortieth day after the birth of first child.
At the entrance to the temple of the Holy Mother of God met Simeon, who was told that he would not die until he had seen the Christ, and the old woman, Anna, lives at the temple. Accordance with the Law of Moses, the parents brought in the child Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem on the 40th day after the birth of the rite of initiation.
Luke tells us that when Mary stood in the Temple with the child Jesus in her arms, she was approached by the aged Simeon, known in the city for his wisdom and righteousness. When he saw the baby Jesus, he took him in his arms and said, "Now you are releasing your servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of the people Your Israel "(Luke 2:29-32).
In the Catholic Church Feast of the Presentation of the Lord since time immemorial called Candlemas (Chandeleur). In memory of the words of Simeon, who called Jesus "a light for revelation to the Gentiles", the Feast of the Presentation to 11:00 pm in the churches committed consecrated candles are then lit during the service.
Believers cherish Sretenskoe candles throughout the year and kicking them when treated with a prayer to Christ for themselves in the difficult moments: during illness, family problems and other life's difficulties.
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord refers to the oldest feast of the Christian Church. But despite the early origin, this holiday to VI century was accomplished not so solemn. In the year 528, during the reign of Justinian (527-565), Antioch suffered a disaster — earthquake that killed many people. This was followed by another misfortune. In the year 544 there was plague carried off daily by several thousand people. These days, one of the nation-wide disaster pious Christians was discovered that the celebration of the Presentation of the Lord to make solemn.
When the day of the Presentation of the Lord was committed vigil and procession, the disasters in the Byzantine Empire ceased. In gratitude to God, the Church was established in 544 to celebrate Candlemas solemn. Therefore, this day became one of the twelve most solemn church-wide festivals — feasts.
Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Candlemas new style — February 15.