The painting above is a fresco (a wall painting) from the Dominican monastery in Florence. It was painted by Fra Angelico and shows Simeon taking the infant Jesus in his arms and recognising him as the Messiah, the one who was sent by God to bring salvation.
We celebrate this event today (2nd February) which is six week after Christmas and so marks the end of the Christmas season.
The Presentation in the Temple is Jesus’ parents obeying the Law of Moses that every first born son should be offered to the Lord. This was mainly ceremonial and as part of this a lamb or turtle doves would be offered in place of the child.
Simeon had been promised by God’s spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah and when he does, he recites a song of praise, which we know as the ‘Nunc Dimittis’ which is Latin meaning ‘Now dismiss me..’