I love Candlemas and after I clean off about six inches of snow off my car and, I hope I am able, blast through the drift at the end of my short driveway, I will be at our lovely Candlemas at Annunciation.
I get annoyed when candles I have taken a great deal of effort to bless, that are supposed to be an icon of Christ and symbolise our wisdom and burning faith are just left in the pews or at the back of Church, especially as we hand out rather expensive ‘altar’ candles rather cheap little votive ones.
The problem is of course that Candlemas is a not very important feast in the present liturgy, which in our electrified times is not surprising, candles are not really necessary in church today and no-one spends most of winter making them.
Dr Rock that great nineteenth century Southwark priest, antiquarian and one of the founders of the V&A, makes a point somewhere of the disastrous impact of the Protestant Reformation on bee-keepers. Before the Reformation they were concerned more about the wax than the honey. He tells of great Paschal candles weighing several hundred-weight that that were kept alight from Easter to Ascension, they were so tall that they had to be lit from clerestory.
I like it when people leave candles behind, because I scoop them up and have a little stash of blessed candles at home.