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Candlemas / Presentation of Christ in the Temple - Important people

To explore Candlemas and to show that everyone is important.

by The Revd Trevor Donnelly

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To explore Candlemas and to show that everyone is important.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need some pictures of 'important' people that you can reveal 'bit by bit' – ideally on an OHP (or PowerPoint for the technologically minded). [At this stage keep the people famous and wealthy – the point that 'everybody is important' comes later in the assembly.]
  • A suitably child-friendly version of the story of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple (Luke 2.22-40), or be prepared to tell the story in your own words.
  • Candlemas occurs on 2 February 2006 and marks the end of the Christmas season in the Western Christian calendar.


  1. Introduce the assembly with a guessing game. Ask the children to put up their hand as soon as they think they recognize the 'important' person in the picture. Reveal each of the personalities bit by bit.

    As each one is guessed, ask the children why they are important, e.g. Tony Blair is Prime Minister; David Beckham is a skilled footballer; Batman protects the people of Gotham City, etc.

  2. Congratulate the children for recognizing these important people. Then say that you want to tell a story about another important person being recognized.

  3. Read or tell the story of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. Talk about how Mary and Joseph were a poor couple, coming to the temple with their baby. None of us would have thought they were anything special, but Simeon and Anna did.

    Explain how this story is full of people who no one else would have thought were important. The people in the story were very unlike all the people we guessed in our game. Not one of them was rich or famous. Jesus was poor, and about to become a refugee, running away from Herod who wanted to kill him.

    Anna and Simeon were both very old and tired, near the end of their lives. No one looking at them would have thought they would do anything important, but they recognized Jesus, and churches throughout the world remember them when they celebrate the feast of Candlemas (also known as the Presentation of Christ in the Temple).

  4. Finish by saying that we are all important. It’s not just the Beckhams of this world that matter – we all matter, we all matter to God.

Time for reflection


Close your eyes and think about the famous people we saw in our guessing game.

They are human beings, just like you and me.

And we are just as important as they are.

Our friends and families are more important to us than those famous people.

The poorest and hungriest and most hopeless people in the world

are just as important as the richest and most powerful.


Loving God, we thank you that all people are important to you.
Help us to love ourselves, and each other.

Help us to love those who it is difficult to love,

and to love those in need.



‘The wise may bring their learning’ (Come and Praise, 64)

Publication date: February 2006   (Vol.8 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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