Middle English candelmassefrom Old English candelmæssecandelcandlecandlemæssemass (from the blessing of candles at the feast)mass
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
From candle + -mas, following the tradition that the candles to be used in church during the following year are blessed on this day
Candlemas Sentence Examples
Violet vestments are also worn on days of intercession, at votive masses of the Passion, at certain other masses of a pronouncedly intercessory and penitential character, at intercessory processions, at the blessing of candles on Candlemas Day, and at the blessing of the baptismal water.
Theterm mass, which survivesin Candlemas, Christmas, Michaelmas, is from the Latin missa, which was in the 3rd century a technical term for the dismissal of any lay meeting, e.g.
It was one of the old quarter-days, being equivalent to midsummer, the others being Martinmas, equivalent to Michaelmas, Candlemas (Christmas) and Whitsuntide (Easter).
This is no longer held, but fairs at Candlemas and St James, of ancient but uncertain origin, remain.