Guess whose Name is missing?

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jan 03, 2020

Today, January 3, the Church calendar offers us the (optional) feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. At Mass the entrance antiphon reminds us, “At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend…” And then something curious happens.

Through the rest of the proper prayers crafted especially for the day’s celebration, guess what Name is never mentioned. Right.

Take, just for example, the Collect:

O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of your Word, give your peoples the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other name to be invoked but the Name of your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Isn’t there an obvious place there, right before “Who lives and reigns,” for the invocation of the name of Jesus? I mean, isn’t that kinda the point?

The Offertory prayer, similarly, speaks of “the Name that saves”—but does not mention it. The Communion prayer alludes to the sacrifice “to honor Christ’s Name,” which is honored in silence.

Could someone please explain to me why, on the day that we celebrate the name of Jesus, we don’t celebrate the name of Jesus?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: wenner1687 - Jan. 04, 2020 2:25 AM ET USA

    I guess for the same reason that Pope Francis, Vicar of Christ, never mentioned the Name of Christ when addressing the United Nations. Not PC. Jesus had something to say about what would happen on the Last Day to those who were ashamed to acknowledge Him. . . . . [pass the popcorn!]