I haven't really found me sea-legs yet as a new Mama of four. In past years, I've celebrated this happy day with Early Morning Mass, a special candle blessing from our parish priest and happy feast of jelly hearts and swords (for the piercing of Mary's heart).
This morning, I got out our Holy Candle and couldn't find where I hid the kitchen matches from my inquiring kids. "I can't light it!" I told a disappointed Maria. "I can't find our matches and we don't even have some spaghetti which we usually use as a substitute."
"Mom, you can use a stick!" my 3 year old shots.
I thought she was talking about one of those bamboo sticks we used for skewers at summer BBQ's and I had no idea where she had seen one recently.
Sure enough, Maria returns from her bedroom with a 9 inch tree branch that her brother had hid under his bed.
(Because that's the kind of house I'm running here. We don't have matches. We don't have spaghetti. But we've got real tree sticks indoors!)
It took Maria and I about 12 minutes, but we did finally get the Holy Candle* light using an actual stick and my gas range on my stove. Then we pulled out the Baby Jesus from the Christmas decoration box that is still sitting in my living room waiting to returned to my bedroom closet. Maria played with the Baby Jesus in front of the candle while I read her the Scripture Passage of the "Presentation" from Luke's Gospel. We talked about how Jesus is the light of the world.
If you've got time and energy this year, Miss Alice's Candlemass Tea is a lovely treat!
During both high preparation days and low preparation days, living the liturgy is a beautiful thing!
*** The Anchoress has a beautiful reflection of Candlemass today!
*a holy candle is simply a candle that has been blessed by a priest. Every Catholic house benefits from a Holy Candle, Holy Water and Blessed Salt. The Holy Candle is really great to light whenever anyone in the family is sick or scared.