Obviously, you can probably guess by the picture above that one of the answers is centered on today's celebration of Candlemas Day. We bless candles. The other two days are Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday in which we bless ashes and palms respectively. In each of these liturgical celebrations the penitential rite of the Mass is replaced by these particular blessings. Do you know why? (That is your homework assignment.)
You take candles home today. On Palm Sunday you take palms home with you. On Ash Wednesday you carry the ashes on your forehead. We have many sacred rituals throughout the year designed to bring us closer to God. However, we have to enter into these times of prayer with fervor and devotion if these rituals are to be meaningful and impact our faith journey. The liturgical year brings us a tremendous opportunity to grow in wisdom, grace, and holiness by focusing our attention on the various elements of salvation history. Are we praying these seasons well?
There are three different names associated with today's celebration. I would encourage you to read about these events in greater detail to learn the significance of each.
The Presentation of the Lord
The Purification of Mary
The secular world pays attention to Groundhog Day today. In that regard, I will simply recognize that we are at the midpoint of winter--halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox. In my "neck of the woods" winter is far from being over. I am just hoping we can celebrate Mother's Day without a foot of snow.