SCARBOROUGH — Candlemas, another name for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, occurs 40 days after Christmas on Feb. 2, marking the first time Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple for the rites of purification and dedication as prescribed by Jewish law, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Scarborough and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Auburn are scheduled to commemorate the feast with the blessing of candles at special Masses. The candles symbolize the light created by the birth of Jesus. For this reason, at least since the seventh century, candles have been blessed at Mass this day, coining the term Candlemas.

Parishioners can bring their own candles to the Masses on Feb. 2 to have them blessed for use at home throughout the year. The candles can be in any style (votive, tealight, taper, etc.). Candles will be blessed at St. Maximilian Kolbe, 150 Black Point Road in Scarborough, during the 8 a.m. Mass, and at Sacred Heart Church, 8 Sacred Heart Place, at the 7:45 a.m. Mass.

Contact local parishes to find out if they will also be offering blessings of candles during Masses on this day.