The celebration of this feast has a similar form to Palm (Passion) Sunday. Instead of palm leaves and branches, however, candles for use throughout the coming year are blessed.
Behold, our Lord will come with power, to enlighten the eyes of his servants, alleluia.
After the blessing of the candles, the faithful proceed to the church, lighted candles in hand. One of the following antiphons are sung:
A light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.
V. Lord, now you let your servant go in peace, according to your word.
V. For my eyes have seen your salvation.
V. Which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
Luke 2:32; V. 29-31
Sion, adorn your bridal chamber and welcome Christ the King; take Mary in your arms, who is the gate of heaven, for she herself is carrying the King of glory and new light. A Virgin she remains, though binging in her hands the son before the morning star begotten, whom Simeon, taking in his arms announced to the peoples as Lord of life and death and Saviour of the world.The Old (and soon to be New) Covenant are called to worship the Infant King, the Promise of Ages. The Ark of this New Covenant is also honored, but only in relationship to the "blessed fruit of her womb."
Simeon had received a revelation from the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. And when they brought the child into the Temple, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying, "Lord, now you can let your servant go in peace."
They offered for him unto the Lord "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons" as it is written in the law of the Lord.
V. When the time of Mary's purification had been completed, according to the law of Moses, they brought Jesus to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord.
Luke 2: 24, 23; V. 22
Your merciful love, O God, we have received in the midst of your temple. Your praise, O God, like your name, reached the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with saving justice.
V. Great is the Lord and worthy of all praise, in the city of our God, on his holy mountain.
Psalm 47: 10, 11; V. 9
Behold, the Lord, the Mighty One, has come; and kingship is in his grasp, and power and dominion.
V. Endow the King with your judgment, O God, and the King's son with your righteousness.
Malachi 3:1, 1 Chronicles 29:12; V. Psalm 71:2
We have received your mercy, O God, in the midst of your temple; even as your name, so does your praise extend to the ends of the earth.
V. All that we have heard, we have now seen, in the city of our God, on his holy mountain.
Psalm 47:10, 11; V. 9
The old man was carrying the infant child; but it was the child who was guiding the man.In the Alleluia, Simeon was carrying the Child in his heart long before he carried Him in his arms. May we all be blessed as he was.
Grace has been poured out on your lips; therefore, God has blessed you for ever, world without end.In the Offertory, recall the Second Reading of the Mass of the Nativity: During The Night--"The grace of God has appeared...." (cf. Titus 2:11) As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
Simeon has received a revelation from the Holy Spirit, that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah.