Candlemas Festival at All Saints’ Church on Saturday February 3, 2024

The Presentation by unknown artist of Les Heures de Nostre Dame. Image courtesy of the Pitts Emory Digital Archive.

The ancient feast day familiarly known as
Candlemas in the Anglican communion will be
observed at All Saints’ Church on Saturday, February 3, with day-long activities culminating in a lovely candlelit evening service. The traditional celebration of Candlemas is February 2, but we are observing it on the First Saturday in February in order to coincide with the Frederick community’s Fire in Ice Gallery Walk when thousands of pedestrians populate the downtown area.


What is Candlemas?

The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple celebrates the coming of the Light of the World forty days after Christmas. In Luke 2:22-39 the Holy Family traveled to Jerusalem to present Jesus at the Temple and offer sacrifice. The aged holy man Simeon, to whom it was revealed by the Spirit
that he would not see death before he had seen
the Messiah, was at the Temple that day and, taking the infant into his arms, said the words
we now call the Song of Simeon (Nunc Dimittis). “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Also at the Temple was the prophetess Anna, who sang praises to God and told Jerusalem of the coming of the Redeemer. By the fourth century Christians in Jerusalem celebrated on the fortieth day after Epiphany (recognized in the Eastern church as Jesus’ nativity) with a procession to a basilica and divine liturgy. Torches were a later feature of the procession. Eventually worshippers brought their own beeswax candles to the mass to be blessed for use in their homes during the year as a symbol of the light of Christ dwelling in their abodes as in their hearts. Hence, the name of the feast day became Candle-Mass.

Schedule of events for February 3 at All Saints’ Church

An ice sculpture of the church façade and steeple will be in front of the church      all day
The historic church will be open for visitors                                                                    11am – 4:30pm
Baked goods for sale in the Great Hall, hot beverages will be free!                            11am – 4:30pm
Hot food sales will be in the Great Hall for dine-in or take-away                               11am – 6:30pm
Beer & Wine sales with food sales in the Great Hall                                                      4:30 – 6:30pm
Labyrinth in Parish Hall will be open for walking                                                          2 – 4pm
Blessing of Candles will occur                                                                                             various times
Choral Candlemas Service                                                                                                   5pm



Photo by T. Boyd, February 4, 2023

The Candlemas Service

will begin at 5pm with a candlelit procession.
Music Director Jesse Ratcliffe will lead the
choir, handbells, and congregation in music
with particular emphasis on the Song of
Simeon. This evening service does not include
a Eucharist celebration.



Food Sales

Photo by T. Boyd, February 4, 2023

in the Great Hall: Chefs Dan Lajewski and Bob
Fowle will prepare hot food for dine-in or take-
away. The menu will feature pulled pork
sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches,
hot dogs & chili dogs, chili, tomato soup, mac &
cheese, and loaded baked potatoes. St. Mary’s
members will bake cookies and brownies. Hot food
sales begin at 11 am and end around 6:30pm,
which allows people who attend the Candlemas
Service at 5pm time to get dinner before heading
downtown to see all the ice sculptures. If there is
food leftover it will sold for take home on Sunday
February 4 between services. Prepare early for
Superbowl Sunday by picking up professionally
cooked food here!


An ice sculpture of the steeple and façade

Photo by T. Boyd, February 4, 2023

will be in front of the church all day as part of the
Downtown Frederick First Saturday Artwalk Fire in Ice festivities. Please come on February 3
to take a selfie of yourself and your family with the ice sculpture to post on social media.


Inspired by medieval tradition there will be periodic Blessing of Candles during the day for use at home during the rest of the year. We encourage parishioners to bring candles from home to be blessed. The Altar Guild will also distribute light sticks for children to use as they walk around
town that evening.

This festival is organized by St. Mary’s Chapter with the assistance of Music Director Jesse
Ratcliffe, the Altar Guild, the Rev. Catherine Thompson, and many volunteers from the parish.
This is the second Candlemas Festival held at All Saints’ Church, and the only fundraising event
currently in planning by St. Mary’s. Funds raised will be used for capital projects at All Saints’
next year. St. Mary’s Chapter is a group joined by fellowship at All Saints’ Episcopal Church who use their time, talent and treasure for the benefit of the church property and special projects in the community.

For information about joining St. Mary’s Chapter contact 2nd Vice President June Miller. If you would like to volunteer to help with the Candlemas Festival contact President Sara Gibson.