Beautiful Day

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Candlemas Tea

February 2nd is known as Candlemas Day in the liturgical year of the church.  I did not know much about Candlemas Day until some of my recent research on holidays, particularly when I was looking at the history of Epiphany.  As far as I can tell, Candlemas is celebrated primarily in the Catholic tradition.  Now I am not Catholic, but I do admire how some of the Catholic mothers seem to teach the stories of Scripture through their celebrations and traditions.  This is the essence of what I felt the Lord has been drawing me to this year.

I love celebrations and I firmly believe these are the things that our children will remember when they look back upon their childhood home life.  Celebrations are one way I seek to fill the treasure chest of my children's lives with that which is beautiful, which speaks truth into their hearts, and fills them with good things that I hope may spill out of their own lives into others.  These have the potential to be carried forth in generations as well and serve to build a legacy.

So one of my goals this year is to continue learning how to provide regular opportunities to celebrate the goodness of God in a way that bonds our hearts together.  One of these directions for me is to create times of instruction and fun centered around holidays--to make the turning of the year memorable as we remember our Lord and those in history who have done great and sometimes difficult things for the Gospel.

I saw some wonderful ideas for a Candlemas Tea and knew that is something I wanted to add to our celebrations this year.  A little background:  Candlemas marks the celebration of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem.  This would have taken place 40 days after his birth.  Catholics have also marked it as the Purification of Mary.  According to Mosaic law, she would have been "unclean" for 40 days after the birth of a male child.  Candlemas also marks the halfway mark between winter and spring---hence, we also have Punxatawney Phil and the legend of the Groundhog Day.  It is called Candlemas because on this day Catholics have a tradition of blessing the household candles that will be used in the forthcoming year.  This is a very brief description, but I hope it gives you the basics.

This is how I used our tea time to teach from Scripture:  After the food was prepared and we sat down at the table, I read Luke 2: 22-38.  As I read I pointed out how the foods (or decorations) represented different aspects of the narrative.  This dish (I only have one) was for the two turtledoves or pigeons that were Mary's offering.

The pretzels symbolize Simeon's arms---used to hold Jesus and to pray.

These cookies, made to look like candles, and our candles lit on the table, because Jesus would be, "A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." (Luke 2:32)

These were fun--made of rolled wafer cookies, some lemon wafers at the base, a dollop of cream cheese frosting to hold them up (though, admittedly, they fell over.  If you really want them to stand up I think you'd have to go for royal icing).  The tips were dipped in white chocolate and then yellow sugar sprinkles for the flame.  The children thought they were perfect!

The cheese cubes are "pierced" with toothpicks (I did not have any swords handy) for the prophecy that a sword would pierce Mary's soul also (v. 35).

The olives are for the widow Anna.  The other idea sites used Mallomars.  I've never heard of them and they sound intriguing.  However, I didn't want the extra sugar and I didn't want to shop all over for them!

We took some strawberries out of the freezer and dipped them in the rest of the white chocolate.  These represent .."that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (v.35)  Dipped in white, they symbolize how Christ came to wash our hearts clean.
 We added a couple of other foods to carry on the white theme to represent purity--Mary's purification at the temple and the purity of Christ.  Our beverage today was white cocoa (I found some this time) and then we added in some Greek yogurt---yum!

I had really wanted to take the opportunity to make candles, but that didn't happen this time around.  Country Girls and I are very eager to try making tapered candles.  Perhaps next time. (The rolled beeswax candle pictured above, is one that we made in the past, and we have them for sale in our Etsy store).

It was a fun surprise to put into our week.  It is always a delight to come to a table that is simply decorated and thoughtfully prepared in way that's just a little out-of-the-ordinary.  This really was easy to prepare.  You don't even have to make homemade pretzels.  But I wanted to.  I had eager helpers.  When the day was ended, we had saved a candle cookie for Warrior.  The children told back the story and how the foods we ate that day gave testimony to the truths of Scripture, for which we are so thankful!  

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...