Sunday, February 1, 2009

Candle cake for Candlemas

Fisheaters have an excellent commentary on the feast of Candlemas, it is worth a visit to read it all, I've just quoted below on the significance of candles:

Now, before Simeon gave this prophecy to Our Lady, he referred to her Infant Son as the Light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and because of this, light and candles play an important role before and during the Mass, hence the most common name for this Feast -- "Candlemas."

On this day, there will be a Blessing of the Candles and Procession. The symbolism of the candles is described by Dom Prosper Guéranger, OSB, in his "Liturgical Year":

The mystery of today's ceremony has frequently been explained by liturgists, dating from the 7th century. According to Ivo of Chartres, the wax, which is formed from the juice of flowers by the bee, always considered as the emblem of virginity, signifies the virginal flesh of the Divine Infant, who diminished not, either by His conception or His birth, the spotless purity of His Blessed Mother. The same holy bishop would have us see, in the flame of our Candle, a symbol of Jesus who came to enlighten our darkness. St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking on the same mystery, bids us consider three things in the blessed Candle: the wax, the wick, and the flame. The wax, he says, which is the production of the virginal bee, is the Flesh of our Lord; the wick, which is within, is His Soul; the flame, which burns on top, is His divinity.

The candle blessing -- one of the three principle blessings of the liturgical year, the others being the blessing of palms and ashes -- will be given by the priest wearing a purple cope. He will pray 5 prayers over the candles placed near the Altar. The candles are sprinkled three times while the Aspérges me is sung, and then they are incensed and distributed. When we take a blessed candle from the priest's hand, we kiss the candle and then the priest's hand, just as we do on Palm Sunday when we kiss the palm and then the priest's hand when receiving the blessed palms.

During the Distribution, the Nunc Dimittis -- the Canticle of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32) -- is sung:

Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord,
In peace, according to Thy word:
For mine own eyes hath seen Thy salvation,
Which Thou hast prepared in the sight of all the peoples,
A light to reveal Thee to the nations
And the glory of Thy people Israel.

Latin Version: Nunc Dimittis

Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine
Secundum verbum tuum in pace:
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum:
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, Et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

I've just posted our Candlemas craft activity, the idea orginally coming from Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda. for anyone looking for a craft and a recipe.

Quick and Simple Candlemas Candle Cake

In typical fashion, I've wanted something easy but eye-catching for the children, so this is what I've come up with.

I bought a jam and cream sponge roll. Placed it vertically on the plate.

Made up a fairly thick batch of icing...using icing sugar, butter and water. (vanilla essence for flavour may be nice)

I bought a fruit stick and stuck it in on the top.

Some red candy strap...folded over and using sissors, cut into the shape of a flame.

The strap is folded over the stick and pinched together on the sides.

All done! Very simple and fuss free.
My youngest child's baptismal day is Candlemas, so this cake is for her!

Happy Feastday!
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  1. FUN!!! I LOVE the cake!! Super cute!! Thanks for sharing this great idea. Happy Candlemas!

  2. Thank you for this wonderful post on the Candlemas...and your recipe, very cute and smart. My family would love it.