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Christmas: January 8th

The Epiphany of the Lord

Daily Readings for: January 08, 2012
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: May the splendor of your majesty, O Lord, we pray, shed its light upon our hearts, that we may pass through the shadows of this world and reach the brightness of our eternal home. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: Holy Name of Jesus

Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Epiphany. "The Lord and ruler is coming; kingship is his, and government and power." With these words the Church proclaims that today's feast brings to a perfect fulfillment all the purposes of Advent. Epiphany, therefore, marks the liturgical zenith of the Advent-Christmas season. — Pius Parsch

The Solemnity of the Epiphany is celebrated either on January 6 or, according to the decision of the episcopal conference, on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8. The young Messiah is revealed as the light of the nations. Yet, as the antiphon for the Magnificat at Second Vespers reminds us, three mysteries are encompassed in this solemnity: the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi, the Baptism of Christ and the wedding feast at Cana. Extra candles and/or lamps may be placed around the sanctuary and in other parts of the church to honor Christ revealed as the Light of the Gentiles (Ceremonial of Bishops). It is customary to replace the images of the shepherds at the crib with the three Magi and their gifts. — Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott, Ignatius Press.

According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of the Holy Family. Ordinarily the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is celebrated today but this year it is observed on January 2.

The Fifteenth Day of Christmas

Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany

Many traditions and genuine manifestations of popular piety have been developed in relation to the Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany, which is of ancient origin and rich in spiritual content. Among such forms of popular piety, mention may be made of:

Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy

Things to Do:


Commentary for the Readings in the Extraordinary Form:
Epiphany

"There came Magi from the East to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is the newly born King of the Jews?. . .We have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him'" (Gospel).

Epiphany means "an apparition, or manifestation" of God becoming visible to the Gentile world. Today Jesus manifests a new "kingdom" (Introit), to which the star-light of "faith" guides all wise men (Prayer).

The Epistle is a revealing picture of the "darkness" of the Jewish Old Testament; a prophecy also of the "brightness" of Christ shining in a world where men may now "see."

The Gospel tells of the faith of the "Magik" divinely guided by the "star"; how this faith manifested itself in action by their seeking instruction from God's priests, by prostrating their very beings and offering their best treasures before the frail Babe in Mary's arms: God in homage to His new Kingship, symbol of their hearts offering love; Incense in homage to His Divinity, symbol of their minds offering adoration; Myrrh in homage to His Humanity, symbol of their bodies offering to do penance.

A truly great Feast! "Arise, be enlightened" (Epistle).

— Excerpted from My Sunday Missal, Confraternity of the Precious Blood

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