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.
As to the blessing of candles, according to the Liber pontificals Pope Zosimus in 417 ordered these to be blessed, 8 and the Gallican and Mozabaric rituals also provided for this ceremony.9 The Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, known as Candlemas, because on this day the candles for the whole year are blessed, was established - according to some authorities - by Pope Gelasius I.
In 1363, in answer to a remonstrance against the mischief caused by "the merchants called grocers who engrossed all manner of merchandize vendable, and who suddenly raised the prices of such merchandize within the realm," it was enacted "that all artificers and people of mysteries shall each choose his own mystery 1 before next Candlemas, and that, having so chosen it, he shall henceforth use no other."
Another fair at Candlemas (2nd of February) was granted by Elizabeth.
The custom of blessing the candles for the whole year on this day, whence the name Candlemas is derived, did not come into common use until the i 1 th century.
The simplex is worn on Good Friday, and at masses for the dead; also at the blessing of the candles at Candlemas, the singing of the absolution at the coffin, and the solemn investiture with the pallium.