Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Candlemas)

The following are the English propers (“the readings”) for this Mass. The English of the fixed, ordinary parts of the Mass are available for a Low Mass, High Mass and Solemn Mass.

Blessing of Candles
If the blessing of candles and the procession cannot take place in the solemn form, because of the absence of sacred ministers, it is lawful to use the simple form, even without chant, provided that at least three servers assist the celebrant. 
The celebrant vests in a white cope or without the chasuble, and goes with the ministers who are similarly vested to bless the candles, which are placed in the center before the altar or on the epistle side. Standing and facing the altar, the priest chants without inflection, with his hands joined:
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray. O Holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, who hast created all things out of nothing, and by Thy command hast caused this liquid to become perfect wax by the labor of bees: and who, on this day didst fulfill the petition of the righteous man Simeon: we humbly entreat Thee, that by the invocation of Thy most holy Name and through the intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin whose feast is today devoutly observed, and by the prayers of all Thy Saints, Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless ✠ and sanctify ✠ these candles for the service of men and for the health of their bodies and souls, whether on land or on sea: and that Thou wouldst hear from Thy holy heaven, and from the throne of Thy Majesty the voices of this Thy people, who desire to carry them in their hands with honor, and to praise Thee with hymns; and wouldst be propitious to all that call upon Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
R.: Amen. 

Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, who on this day didst present Thine only-begotten Son in Thy holy temple to be received in the arms of holy Simeon: we humbly entreat Thy clemency, that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless ✠ and sanctify ✠ and to kindle with the light of Thy heavenly benediction these candles, which we, Thy servants, desire to receive and to bear lighted in the honor of Thy Name: that, by offering them to Thee our Lord God, being worthily inflamed with the holy fire of Thy most sweet charity, we may deserve to be presented in the holy temple of Thy glory. 
Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. 
R. Amen.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, the true Light who enlightenest every man that cometh into this world: pour forth Thy blessing ✠ upon these candles, and sanctify ✠ them with the light of Thy grace, and mercifully grant, that as these lights enkindled with visible fire dispel the darkness of night, so our hearts illumined by invisible fire, that is, by the splendor of the Holy Spirit, may be free from the blindness of all vice, that the eye of our mind being cleansed, we may be able to discern what is pleasing to Thee and profitable to our salvation; so that after the perilous darkness of this life we may deserve to attain to neverfailing light: through Thee, O Christ Jesus, Saviour of the world, who in the perfect Trinity, livest and reignest, God, world without end.
R.: Amen. 

Let us pray. O almighty and everlasting God, who by Thy servant Moses didst command the purest oil to be prepared for lamps to burn continuously before Thee: vouchsafe to pour forth the grace of Thy blessing ✠ upon these candles: that they may so afford us light outwardly that by Thy gift, the gift of Thy Spirit may never be wanting inwardly to our minds. 
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, who appearing on this day among men in the substance of our flesh, wast presented by Thy parents in the temple: whom the venerable and aged Simeon, illuminated by the light of Thy Spirit, recognized, received into his arms, and blessed: mercifully grant that, enlightened and taught by the grace of the same Holy Ghost, we may truly acknowledge Thee and faithfully love Thee; Who with God the Father in the unity of the same Holy Ghost livest and reignest, God, world without end.
R.: Amen.
The celebrant sprinkles the candles three times with holy water, saying the anthem Asperges me, and also incensing them thrice.

The Distribution of Candles
Next the senior cleric goes to the altar and the celebrant, without genuflecting, receives a candle from him. Then the celebrant stands in the center before the altar, turns toward the people, and distributes the candles, first to the senior cleric from whom he has received the candle, then to the vested deacon and subdeacon, and to the other clerics in order, one by one, and last of all to the laity. All kneel with the exception of prelates, if any are present. When the distribution of the candles begins, the choir sings:
Antiphon Luc 2:32
Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.
Luc 2:29-31
Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word in peace.
Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.
Because mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.
Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.
Which Thou hast prepared, before the face of all peoples.
Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Ant. A light for the revelation of the Gentiles: and for the glory of Thy people Israel.

After, this is sung:
Ant. Arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us for Thy Name’s sake. 
Ps 43:26
We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared to us. 
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Ant. Arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us for Thy Name’s sake. 

After this the priest says:
Let us pray.
We beseech Thee, O Lord, hearken unto Thy people, and grant that by the light of Thy grace, we may inwardly attain to those things which Thou grantest us outwardly to venerate by this yearly observance. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen

The Procession
First, the celebrant places incense in the thurible, then the deacon turns to the people and says:
V. Let us go forth in peace.
R. In the Name of Christ. Amen.
The thurifer goes first, carrying the thurible, followed by the vested subdeacon, who carries the cross between two acolytes with lighted candles, then the clergy in order, finally the celebrant with the deacon at his left. All hold lighted candles in their hands. The following anthems are sung:
Ant. Adorn thy bridal-chamber, O Sion, and welcome Christ the King: with loving embrace greet Mary who is the very gate of heaven; for she bringeth to thee the glorious King of the new light: remaining ever a Virgin yet she bearest in her arms the Son begotten before the day-star: even the Child, whom Simeon taking into his arms, declared to the peoples to be the Lord of life and death, and the Saviour of the world.
Luc 2:26, 27 et 28-29.
Ant. Simeon received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord; and when they brought the Child into the temple, he took Him into His arms, and blessed God, and said: Now dost Thou dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace. 
V. When His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him into His arms.
When the procession re-enters the Church, the choir sings the following:
V. They offered for Him to the Lord a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons: * As it is written in the Law of the Lord.
V. After the days of the purification of Mary, according to the law of Moses, were fulfilled, they carried Jesus to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord. * As it is written in the Law of the Lord.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it is written in the Law of the Lord.
When the procession has been completed, the celebrant and ministers put on the vestments for Mass. In the Mass which follows the blessing of candles, the prayers to be said at the foot of the altar are omitted, as well as the prayers Aufer a nobis and Oramus te, Domine. When the priest comes to the altar, he immediately goes up to it and kisses it in the center. The candles are held during the Gospel and throughout the Canon.

Introitus
Ps 47:10-11
O God, we ponder Your kindness within Your temple. As Your name, O God, so also Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Of justice Your right hand is full.
Ps 47:2
Great is the Lord, and wholly to be praised in the city of our God, His holy mountain.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O God, we ponder Your kindness within Your temple. As Your name, O God, so also Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Of justice Your right hand is full.

Collect
Let us pray.
Almighty, eternal God, we humbly beseech Your majesty that, as Your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the nature of our flesh, so may You grant us to be presented to You with purified minds.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

Lesson
Lesson from the book of Malachias
Mal 3:1-4
Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending My messenger to prepare the way before Me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord Whom you seek, and the Messenger of the covenant Whom you desire. Yes. He is coming, says the Lord of Hosts. But who will endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like the refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord. Then the sacrifice of Juda and Jerusalem will please the Lord, as in the days of old, as in years gone by, says the Lord almighty.
R. Thanks be to God.

Gradual
Ps 47:10-11, 9
O God, we ponder Your kindness within Your temple. As Your name, O God, so also Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
V. As we have heard so have we seen, in the city of our God, in His holy mountain.
Luke 2:29-32
Now You dismiss Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word, in peace.
V. Because my eyes have seen Your salvation.
V. Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples.
V. A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory for Your people Israel.

Gospel
Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Luke
R. Glory be to Thee, O Lord.
Luke 2:22-32
At that time, when the days of Mary’s purification were fulfilled according to the Law of Moses, they took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord – as it is written in the Law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord – and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons. And behold, there was in Jerusalem a man named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came by inspiration of the Spirit into the temple. And when His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law, he also received Him into his arms and blessed God, saying, Now You dismiss Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word, in peace; because my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all peoples: a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory for Your people Israel.
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
S. By the words of the Gospel may our sins be blotted out.

Offertorium
Ps 44:3
Grace is poured out upon your lips; thus God has blessed you forever, and for ages of ages.

Secreta
O Lord, heed our prayer, and give us the help of Your loving kindness so that the gifts we offer before the eyes of Your majesty may be worthy of You.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

Prefatio
Nativity
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God, for through the Mystery of the Word made flesh, the new light of Thy glory hath shone upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge God in visible form, we may through Him be drawn to the love of things invisible. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Throne and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

Communio
Luke 2:26
It was revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.

Postcommunio
Let us pray.
We beseech You, O Lord our God, that the sacrament You have given as the bulwark of our atonement may be made a saving remedy for us in this life and in the life to come.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.