As we come to the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany and the conclusion of the 12 Days of Christmas we are reminded of the importance of this feast, that of the Manifestation of Christ to the world of the Gentiles. With the arrival of the Magi who followed the star to the place where the Christ Child could be found, bearing their gifts in homage and knelt before Him in adoration before returning to their home another way. May we in our own day come to Jesus bearing the gift of our love in bowing before Him in adoration, living our lives for Him that we too might return by another way, the way of transformation. In the mystery of the Word made flesh God has caused a new light to burn in our hearts that we might see His glory in the face of Jesus.
Epiphany recalls for us that this revelation is not just for the children of Israel but for the whole world. The joy of the Gospel is delivered to all. Jews and Gentiles alike are invited to share in the one Body of Christ being offered the gift of eternal life as they come to Him in faith. The doors of His Church are thrown open to the whole world for she welcomes all by whatever route they come in seeking Jesus. It should be no surprise that the traditions that surround the feast of the Epiphany contin.ue to endure. In the churches of the Orthodox east as in southern European countries Epiphany continues to take primacy of place over Christmas as a feast day. Gifts are given, in imitation of the gifts brought to the Christ Child by the Magi. Doors are blessed and thrown open in welcome of this twelfth day of Christmas, known as “Little Christmas” in other parts of the Christian world. I recall the time when chalk was blessed at Mass on the Epiphany to be taken home that we might mark the doors of our homes in blessing. Above the main entrance of our homes we would write the following using the blessed chalk: 20+G+M+B+16, being the year and the first letters of the names of the Magi. Epiphany remains the day for us to bless our homes and open wide our doors in welcome as we manifest the love of Christ for all peoples.
The following prayer may be used in blessing the entrance to your home:
O LORD, HOLY FATHER ALMIGHTY, EVERLASTING GOD, we beseech thee to hear us; and vouchsafe to send thy holy Angel from heaven, to guard, cherish, protect, and visit, and evermore defend all that dwell in this house. I call upon thy Saints GASPAR, MELCHOIR, and BALTHSAR, to protect my family and my home from every harm and danger, and I place this mark over my door to remain as a constant reminder to us, and all who enter here, that my house is truly a house of the Lord. O GOD, make the door of my house the gateway to thine Eternal Kingdom. All this we ask through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord. AMEN.
THE EPIPHANY PROCLAMATION OF EASTER MMXVI
Know ye beloved brethren that as by God’s favor we rejoiced in the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, so too we announce to you the glad tidings of the Resurrection of Our Savior.
The Sunday of Septuagesima will fall on the 24th day of January.
Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the most holy Lenten fast on the 10th day of February.
On the 27th day of March you shall celebrate with greatest joy the holy Pasch of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Ascension of Our Lord will occur on the 5th day of May.
The Feast of Whitsunday on the 15th day of May.
The 26th day of May is the Feast of Corpus Christi.
The 27th day of November will usher in the Advent of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
to whom be honor and glory eternally. AMEN.
Mass is to be celebrated at Saint James on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6th, at 6:30 in the evening.