When candles are lighted on
the dark is behind us, and spring's on the way.
A glory dawns in every dark place,
the light of Christ, the fullness of grace.
The kings have departed, the shepherds have gone,
the child and his parents are left on their own.
They go to the temple, obeying the law,
and offer two pigeons, the gift of the poor.
But Anna and Simeon recognize there
the Christ-child who came at the turn of the year.
The old who have suffered and waited so long
see hope for the world as they welcome the young.
They gaze at God's wonderful answer to prayer,
the joy of the Jews and the Gentiles' desire.
The light is increasing and spring's in the air.
Look back with thanksgiving! Look forward with awe!
They see before Mary a heart-piercing grief,
but trust is complete at the end of their life.
For Mary will follow, with tears in her eyes,
her Savior and Son to the foot of the cross.
Great Spirit of Yahweh, with courage inspire
your everyday saints who face up to despair.
They pass through temptation, through failure,
When darkness descends, they plod onward in faith.
Like Anna, like Simeon, may they have trust,
the eyes to see Jesus, and peace at the last.
The candles invite us to praise and to pray
when Christmas greets Easter on Candlemas Day.