Pupils, parents and staff attend candlemas celebration at Stonyhurst College

A Candlemas celebration lightened the darkness of a cold winter’s night at Stonyhurst College this week, attended by pupils, parents and staff.

The ceremony, led by the college chaplain Fr John Twist SJ, began in the Pietà Gallery with the blessing and lighting of candles to symbolise Christ’s light among us.

After a procession to the college chapel, Schola Cantorum sang Mass which included Eccard’s When to the temple Mary went and John Taverner’s The Lamb.

Candlemas marks 40 days after Jesus’s birth, when, according to Luke’s Gospel, Mary and Joseph took the baby to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Stonyhurst was founded in 1593 by Fr Robert Persons SJ on France at a time when penal laws prohibited Catholic education in England, then moved to England in 1794.