PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE
Forty days after Jesus’ birth, in accordance with the law of Moses, His parents brought Him to the Temple of Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. An old man named Simeon came out to meet them. Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death until he saw the Lord’s Anointed. Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God, saying: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” [Luke 2:29-32
While Joseph and Mary marvelled at what was said about the child, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” [Luke 2:34-35
Also there was a prophetess by the name of Anna. A widow at eighty four years of age, she never left the temple but worshipped there and served God. Coming to see them, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. [Luke 2:36-38
The presentation in the Temple
Yerevan, man. No 10675, f. 167, Gospel of Melitene, 1267-1268 A.D.
Written and illustrated by Toros Roslin
Elder Simeon and Prophet Anna not only testified about the Savior, but also embodied Adam and Eve, representing mankind - aged and depleted by original sin. They came forth as the last righteous from the Old Covenant to meet Christ, to hold Him in their arms and embrace Him, and by doing so to break free from the bonds of sin, to advance from Old Covenant to the New, from mortal life to life eternal.
Hence the feast dedicated to the events of the day is called Presentation of the Lord, symbolizing the discerning of God by the human heart - out to embrace Him.