(If the Epiphany fall on a Saturday, the Mass and Office, we now give, are said on the following Day. Otherwise, they are deferred to the day within the Octave which is Sunday.)
It is the Kingship of the divine Infant that the Church again proclaims in the opening Canticle of the Mass for the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany. She sings the praises of her Emmanuel’s Throne, and takes her part with the Angels who hymn the glory of Jesus’ eternal Empire. Let us do the same, and adore the King of Ages, in his Epiphany.
In excelso throno vidi sedere virum, quem adorat multitudo Angelorum psallentes in
unum: ecce cujus
imperii nomen est in aeternum.
Ps. Jubilate Deo omnis terra: servite Domino in laetitia.
I saw a man seated on a high throne, whom a multitude of Angels adored, singing all together: Behold him, whose name and empire are to last for ever.
Ps. Sing joyfully to God, all the earth: serve ye the Lord with gladness.
The prayer made by the holy Church to the heavenly Father, in the Collect, is, that she may be enlightened by that Sun of Justice, her Jesus, who alone can teach us the way in which we are to walk, and, by his vivifying warmth, give us strength to reach our home.
|Vota, quaesumus Domine, supplicantis populi coelesti pietate prosequere: ut et quae agenda sunt, videant;. et ad implenda quae viderit, convalescant. Per Dominum||According to thy divine mercy, O Lord, receive the vows of thy people, who pour forth their prayers to thee: that they may know what their duty requireth of them, and be able to comply with what they know. Through, etc.|
Commemoration of the Epiphany.
|Deus, qui hodierna die Unigenitum tuum Gentibus, stella duce, revelasti; concede propitius, ut qui jam te ex fide cognovimus, usque ad contemplandam speciem tuae celsitudinis perducamur. Per eumdem.||O God, who by the direction of a star, didst this day manifest thy only Son to the Gentiles; mercifully grant, that we, who now know thee by faith, may come at length to see the glory of thy Majesty. Through the same, etc.|
Lectio Epistolae Beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Romans.
The Apostle invites us to make our offering to the new-born King, after the example of the Magi; but, the offering which this Lord of all things asks of us, is not anything material or lifeless. He that is Life, gives his whole self to us; let us, in return, present him our hearts, that is, a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God; whose service may be reasonable, that is, whose obedience to the divine will may he accompanied by a formal intention of offering itself to its Creator. Here again, let us imitate the Magi, who went back another way into their own country - let as not adopt the ideas of this world, for the world is the covert enemy of our beloved King. Let us reform our worldly prudence according to the divine wisdom of Him, who may well be our guide, seeing he is the Eternal Wisdom of the Father. Let us understand, that no man can be wise without Faith, which reveals to us that we must all be united by Love, so as to form one body in Christ, partaking of his life, his wisdom, his light, and his kingly character.
In the chant which follows the Epistle, the Church returns to her praise of the ineffable wonders of a God with us: Justice and righteousness have come down from heaven to take up their abode on our mountains and hills.
Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel, qui facit mirabilia magna solus a saeculo.
V. Suscipiant montes pacem populo tuo, et colles justitiam.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone hath done great wonders from
V. Let the mountains receive peace for thy people, and the hills righteousness.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.
Sequel of the holy Gospel
according to Luke.
Thus, O Jesus! didst thou come down from heaven to teach us. The tender age of Childhood, which thou didst take upon thyself, is no hindrance to the ardour of thy desire that we should know the one only God, who made all things, and thee, his Son, whom he sent to us. When laid in the Crib, thou didst instruct the Shepherds by a mere look; when swathed in thy humble swaddling-clothes, and subjected to the voluntary silence thou hadst imposed on thyself, thou didst reveal to the Magi the light they sought in following the Star. When twelve years old, thou explainest to the Doctors of Israel the Scriptures which bear testimony to thee. Thou gradually dispellest the shadows of the Law by thy presence and thy words. In order to fulfil the commands of thy heavenly Father, thou dost not. hesitate to occasion sorrow to the heart of thy Mother, by thus going in quest of souls that need enlightening. Thy love of man will pierce that tender Heart of Mary with a still sharper sword, when she shall behold thee hanging on the Cross, and expiring in the midst of cruelest pain. Blessed be thou, sweet Jesus, in these first Mysteries of thine Infancy, wherein thou already showest thyself devoted to us, and leaving the company of thy Blessed Mother for that of sinful men, who will one day conspire thy death.
During the Offertory, the Church resumes her canticles of joy; the presence of the Divine Infant fills her with joy.
|Jubilate Deo omnis terra: servite Domino in laetitia: intrate in conspectu ejus in exsultatione: quia Dominus ipse est Deus.||Sing joyfully to the Lord, all the earth: serve ye the Lord with gladness: present yourselves to him with transports of joy: for the Lord is God.|
|Oblatum tibi Domine Sacrificium vivificet nos semper et muniat. Per Dominum.||May the Sacrifice we have offered to thee, O Lord, always enliven and defend us. Through, &c.|
Commemoration of the Epiphany
|Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus Domine, dona propitius intuere; quibus non jam aurum, thus et myrrha profertur; sed quod eisdem muneribus declaratur, immolatur et sumitur, Jesus Christus Filius tuus Dominus noster. Qui tecum.||Mercifully look down, O Lord, we beseech thee, on the offerings of thy Church: among which, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, are no longer offered; but what was signified by those offerings, is sacrificed, and received, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Who liveth, &c.|
Whilst distributing the Bread of Life come down from heaven, the Church repeats the words addressed by Mary to her Son: Why hast thou done so to us? I and thy father have sought thee. The Good Shepherd, who feeds his Sheep with his own Flesh, replies that he must needs do the will of his Father who is in heaven. He is come to be our Life, our light, and our food: he, therefore, leaves everything in order to give himself to us. But, whilst the Doctors in the Temple only saw and heard him, we, in this Living Bread, possess him and are united with him in sweetest union.
|Fili, quid fecisti nobis sic? Ego et pater tuus dolentes quaerebamus te. Et quid est, quod me quaerebatis? Nesciebatis, quia in his, quae Patris mei sunt, oportet me esse?||Son, why hast thou done so with us? I and thy father have sought thee with sorrow. And why did you seek me? Did you not know that I must be about the concerns of my Father?|
The holy Church, having seen her Children refreshed by this heavenly nourishment, prays that they may have the grace of becoming well-pleasing to Him, who has given them this proof of his immense love.
|Supplices te rogamus, omnipotens Deus: ut quos tuis reficis Sacramentis, tibi etiam placitis moribus dignanter deservire concedas. Per Dominum.||Grant, we humbly beseech thee, O Almighty God, that those whom thou refreshest with thy Sacraments, may, by a life well-pleasing to thee, worthily serve thee. Through, &c.|
Commemoration of the Epiphany
|Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut quae solemni celebramus officio, purificatae mentis intelligentia consequamur. Per Dominum.||Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that our minds may be so purified, as to understand what we celebrate on this great solemnity. Through, &c.|
The Antiphons and Psalms are of the Epiphany, as above. After which the the following Capitulum:
|Fratres, obsecro vos per misericordiam Dei, ut exhibeatis corpora vestra hostiam viventem, sanctam, Deo placentem, rationabile obsequium vestrum.||Brethren, I beseech you by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service.|
The Hymn Crudelis Herodes Deum, as above.
|ANT. Fili! quid fecisti nobis sic? ego et pater tuus dolentes quaerebamus te. Quid est quod me quaerebatis? nesciebatis quia in his quae Patris mei sunt, oportet me esse?||ANT. Son! why hast thou done so to us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. - How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?|
Vota, quaesumus Domine, supplicantis populi coelesti pietate prosequere: ut et quae agenda sunt videant, et ad implenda quae viderint, convalescant. Per Dominum.
LET US PRAY.
According to thy divine mercy, O Lord, receive the vows of thy people, who pour forth their prayers to thee: that they may know what their duty requireth of them, and be able to comply with what they know. Through, &c.
Commemoration of the Epiphany
ANT. Tribus miraculis ornatum diem sanctum colimus: hodie stella Magos duxit
ad praesepium: hodie vinum ex aqua factum est ad nuptias: hodie in Jordane a
Joanne Christus baptizari voluit, ut salvaret nos. Alleluia.
V. Omnes de Saba venient, alleluia.
ANT. We celebrate a festival adorned by three miracles:
this day, a star led the Magi to the manger; this day, water was changed into wine, at the marriage-feast; this day, Christ vouchsafed to be baptised by John, in the Jordan, for our salvation. Alleluia.
V. All they from Saba shall come, alleluia.
LET US PRAY.