In this fourth week of Advent, voices from east London help us to meditate on the Presentation and the Finding of Jesus in the Temple - the final two Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.

Hear them explain how meditating on these events helps them to discern and respond to God's call on their lives.

Click here for an introduction to the People's Rosary Project, and a guide to how to pray the Rosary

Reflections on the first three Mysteries - the Annunciation, the Visitation and the Birth of Christ - are also online

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; his man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;for my eyes have seen your salvation,   which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,a light for revelation to the Gentiles   and for glory to your people Israel.’

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2.22-38

Mary shows me that God can be in the pain as well as in the joy... the Christmas story is not a fairy-tale but helps us experience real life.
Renee Nembhard Andrade, St Andrew's N16

Watch Renee speak about Simeon's prophecy that a sword will pierce Mary's heart.

In the pandemic... I have seen love at work in the heart of humanity here in Stamford Hill
The Revd Charis Enga, parish priest at St Andrew's

Charis reflects on the rejoicing of Anna in the Temple, and the signs of grace in daily life.

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 

When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travellers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 

When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’  But they did not understand what he said to them. Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

Luke 2.41-51

Some people are asking questions during the pandemic, maybe for the first time...during my praying of this mystery of the Rosary I am holding these people before God
Sr Josephine Canny, Oblate of the Assumption in Waltham Forest

It is okay to feel lost at the moment, and it may take a while to feel found again, but we are not lost in the sight of Christ.
Rámond Mitchell, St George-in-the-East

You are invited to pray the Rosary now.

Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus, whom you O Virgin presented in the Temple.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus, whom you O Virgin found in the Temple.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

If you have not prayed the Rosary before, you can read our introductory page here.

A Polish hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary

If you would like to pray the Rosary in an online group this Advent, email peoplesrosary [at] theology-centre.org

The People's Rosary is a project of the Centre for Theology and Community and De Mazenod Retreat House in east London.

We are grateful for the support of the Lady Peel Trust in developing this project.