“Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant Depart in Peace”

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him

Luke 2:22-40

I remember being completely enamored with this story from Luke when I first realized its importance and the miracle of it all. Just imagine Simeon waiting and waiting for the Lord. How long did he wait? Do you know the complete history of Simeon? I only knew what was in scripture, in Luke. But did you know that Simeon was one of the 70 who came to Alexandria to translate the Holy Scriptures into Greek? Here is an account of the history of St. Simeon that is truly fascinating. It makes the miracle of his waiting and recognizing our Lord even more remarkable. Holy Tradition has him departing this earthly life at aproximately 360 years old!

He waited long for the Messiah!

During the Vespers service for the Feast we sang some very beautiful hymns.

Simeon, tell us, Whom dost thou bear in thine arms,
that thou dost rejoice so greatly in the Temple?
To Whom dost thou shout and cry aloud:
“Now am I set free, for I have seen my Savior?”
This is He Who was born of a Virgin;
this is God the Word, Who came forth from God,
Who for our sakes has taken flesh and has saved man.
Let us worship Him!

Simeon, receive Him Whom Moses once beheld in darkness,
granting the Law on Sinai,
now that He has become a Babe subject to the Law!
This is He Who spoke through the Law.
This is He, of Whom the Prophets spoke,
Who for our sakes has taken flesh and has saved man.
Let us worship Him!

Come, let us also go to meet Christ with divine songs!
Let us receive Him Whose salvation Simeon saw!
This is He Whom David announced;
this is He Who spoke in the Prophets,
Who, for our sakes, has taken flesh and Who speaks through the Law.
Let us worship Him!

And the final hymn I must mention is the Troparion Hymn of the Feast! Bringing to close the the triune Feasts of the Light…I talked about this on January 6th with Theophany. Christ our God, enlightening those who sat in darkness.

Enjoy this Light filled Feast today! May He shine through the darkness for you!

Blessed Feast, dear friends!!

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