Presentation in the Temple, Faversham Parish Church (Kent)
Wall paintings of Christ’s presentation in the Temple are very rare in England. This example from Faversham dates to the early fourteenth century. From left to right the figures are Joseph, Mary holding the baby Jesus, and Simeon. Joseph is shown wearing the type of hat traditionally used to identify Jewish people in medieval art.
February 2 was the date of the feast of the Presentation, also known as the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and Candlemas. The name Candlemas refers to the processions with blessed candles that were made to celebrate the feast. It is forty days after Christmas.
For a biblical account of the presentation, see Luke 2:22-38. Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem in order to make a sacrifice of two pigeons in accordance with the law of Moses. Simeon was an old man who recognized Jesus as the messiah that he has been expecting.