What should clergy do when asked to offer public prayers at various events? My colleagues tend to have strong opinions on opposite sides of this question. Some feel that they are being used—or that it is part of an old Christendom model of being church to offer invocations and benedictions at public gatherings. Others feel it is a time to proselytize; so they will only pray if they can do so in the name of Jesus. For my own part, whenever I can accept such invitations I say yes.
That time for purification, according to the law of Moses, was forty days after the birth (see Leviticus 12). Tomorrow, February 2, marks the Feast of the Presentation, also known as Candlemas, when the church recalls Jesus' first journey to Jerusalem.