This year, Christmas falls on a Sunday, and the Feast of the Circumcision completes the Octave on the following Sunday, superseding the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas. The Circumcision comes in verse 21 of the second chapter of Luke, and in verse 22 begins the story of Jesus’s Presentation in the Temple. Today’s Gospel reading – Luke 2.33-40 – picks up after Simeon’s first words (Nunc dimittis – the Gospel Reading on the second of February, for the Feast of the Purification) with Simeon’s prophecy of the sword that will pierce Mary’s heart. We also today read about Anna the prophetess. Above is the lower half of a fresco of the scene from around the year 800. Its inscription reads SUSCEPTUS. The cloth over Simeon’s hands bears the initials C and M. Above and between those letters are the feet of the Christ Child.
The Liturgical Year by Dom Guéranger
Heortology: A History Of The Christian Festivals From Their Origin To The Present Day by Heinrich Kellner (Paul, Trench, Trübner, 1908).
Homilies Of Feasts And Sundays By Catholic Church Fathers by D. G. Hubert (Washbourne, 1901).
Abridged Sermons for all the Sundays of the Year by Saint Alphonsus Liguori.
Readings for the Sundays and Holy Days of the Church’s Year (Bosworth, 1881).
Original, Short and Practical Sermons for Every Feast of the Ecclesiastical Year : Three Sermons for Every Feast by Francis Weninger (Lowen, 1882).
Analysis of the Gospels of the Sundays of the Year by Angelo Cagnolo (Benziger, 1892).
Sermons for Children’s Masses, Accorading to the Sundays and Principal Festivals of the Year by Raphael Frassinetti (Benziger, 1900).
Sermons from the Latins by James J. Baxter (Benziger, 1902).
Short Discourses for all the Sundays in the Year According to the Mind & Method of the Catechism of the Council of Trent by John McQuirk (St. Paul’s Library, 1908).
Meditations on the Life, the Teaching and the Passion of Jesus Christ for Every Day of the Ecclesiastical Year by Augustine Maria Ilg (Benziger, 1901).
5th Century Mosaic at Santa Maria Maggiore (there is an alternate, though improbable, identification of these scene)
Compare the painting technique of these two paintings here.