For anyone who can make it, we are celebrating Missa Cantata for the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary this Saturday at 12 noon.
I did not know that snowdrops are sometimes known as "Candlemass bells" - we have a profusion of them here already peeping out as soon as last week's snow melted.
Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are known as "Candlemas Bells" because, being the usual earliest blooming flower of all, they often bloom before Candlemas (some varieties bloom all winter long in some places). Legend says that they sprang up by the hand of an angel, who then pointed them out as a sign of hope to Eve, who was weeping in repentance and in despair over the cold and death that entered into the world after she and her husband sinned. Because our Hope is Christ, the Light of the World as Simeon says in his canticle today, it is providential that the snowdrop should bloom by this Feast! If possible, gather some Candlemas Bells to bring inside (folk belief is that bringing them indoors before this date is bad luck, and bringing them indoors today "purifies" one's house.)
Thanks to Fisheaters.