Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Sunday 1 February 2008

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
2nd Class; Green
Gloria; Credo; Preface of the Holy Trinity


Deus, qui nos in tantis periculis constitútos pro humána scis fragilitáte non posse subsístere : da nobis salútem mentis et córporis; ut ea, quæ pro peccátis nostris pátimur, te adiuvánte vincámus. Per Dóminum.

Let us Pray:

O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature, we can not stand fast: grant us health of mind and of body, that what we suffer for our sins, we may overcome by Thy help. Through our Lord...

(image: Jonah swallowed by the whale (Lesson viii, 1911 Breviary),

new Gregorian Chant Schola in Scotland

Plans have been made for a schola to sing and promote Gregorian chant within the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, Scotland. This will be a male choir which will meet on a Thursday evening in St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, for sung Latin Vespers and rehearsal with half a dozen chanted Masses spread among the deaneries each year.

Anyone who is interested in joining the schola or supporting this increasingly popular music of the Church should visit or telephone 07786 146 456 for more details.

Dom Gueranger on January 25th: The Conversion of St. Paul

"Today, it is from heaven that (Christ) evinces his power: all the mysteries of our redemption have been accomplished, and he wishes to show mankind, that he is the sole author and master of the Apostolate, and that his alliance with the Gentiles is now perfect.....................

And on one of the reasons for the Church choosing this date for the Feast:

" was necessary, in order to give the court of our Infant-King its full beauty, that the two Princes of the Church - the Apostle of the Jews, and the Apostle of the Gentiles - should stand close to the mystic crib; Peter, with his Keys, and Paul with his sword. Bethlehem thus becomes the perfect figure of the Church, and the riches of this season of the Cycle are abundant beyond measure.

"The ancient Sacramentaries give us nothing upon the Conversion of St. Paul. We take the following Paryer....from the Gallican Missal published by Dom Mabillon, under the title of 'Missale Gothicum'.

'O God, who, by a voice from heaven, didst strike with terror thine Apostle Paul when raging against the holiness of the Christian religion, and, on this day of his Vocation, didst change him both in his heart and his name: and him, whom the Church once dreaded as her persecutor, she now rejoices in having as her Teacher in the commandments of God: whom, also, thou didst strike with exterior blindness, that thou mightest give him interior sight: to whom, moreover, when the darkness of his cruelty was removed, thou didst give the knowledge of thy divine law, whereby he might call the Gentiles: and didst thrice deliver him from shipwreck, which he suffered for the Faith, saving this thy devoted servant from the waves of the sea: grant slso to us we beseech thee, who are solemnising both his conversion and his faith, that, after the blindness of our sins, we may be permitted to see Thee in heaven, who didst enlighten Paul, here on earth."

From Dom Gueranger's prayer for the intercession of St. Paul:

"Pray for the conversion of sinners, who have forgotten their God......draw down on them that persecute Jesus, the graces which triumph over the hardest haart. Apostle of the Gentiles, look with an eye of loving pity on so many nations, that are still sitting in the shadow of death..................

Raise up in the Church apostolic men, who may continue thy work. Pray to our Lord that he bless their labours, and the blood of such among them as are Martyrs of zeal.

Shield with thy protection, the See of Peter, .....Support the authority of the Church of Rome, which has inherited thy power, and looks upon thee as her second defence. May thy powerful intercession lead her enemies into humble submission, destroy schism and heresies, and fill her Pastors with thy spirit, that like thee, they may seek, not themselves, but solely and in all things, the interests of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Conversion of St Paul

Sunday 25 January 2009
The Conversion of St Paul, Apostle

3rd Class, White

NOTE: The Congregation for Divine Worship & Discipline of the Sacraments granted special faculty, by decree, for the celebration of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle, this year. The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei have confirmed this faculty may also apply to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite.


Deus, qui univérsum mundum beáti Pauli Apóstoli prædicatióne docuísti : da nobis, quæsumus; ut, qui ejus hódie Conversiónem cólimus, per ejus ad te exémpla gradiámur. Per Dóminum.

Let us pray.

O God, who through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world : grant, we beseech thee ; that we, having his wonderful Conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught. Through.

(image: St Paul with Ananias of Damascus)

Third Sunday after Epiphany

Sunday 25 January 2008

Third Sunday after Epiphany

2nd Class; Green
Gloria; Credo; Preface of the Holy Trinity


Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, infirmitátem nostra propítius réspice : atque ad protegéndum nos déxteram tuæ maiestátis exténde. Per Dóminum.

Let us Pray:

O Almighty and everlasting God, look mercifully upon our weakness: and stretch forth the right hand of Thy Majesty to protect us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son who liveth and reigneth...


Vatican Youtube up and running

Flick of the mantilla to Fr Blake for being the first to alert me via my bloglist:

Handbook for the Sacristan

The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius have recently made the following available online:

In Sacristy and Sanctuary

A Guide for the Sacristan with Detailed Instructions
Accompanied by Directive Schedules and Diagrams
Showing How and What to Get Ready for the
Proper Carrying Out of Liturgical Functions
Generally According to the Roman Ceremonial

by Rev. William A. O'Brien, M.A.

(click link or image to view)

Dom Gueranger: Second Sunday after Epiphany: Vespers

The psalmody at Vespers is the same as at First Vespers of the Epiphany, eccept for the Antiphons and the fifth psalm as shown below.

ANT. Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord, shall be saved.
Psalm 'Dixit Dominus'

ANT. Holy and terrible is his Name: the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Psalm 'Confitebor tibi'

ANT. But I will rejoice in the Lord, and I will joy in God my Jesus.
Psalm 'Beatus vir'

ANT. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Name of the Lord is worthy of praise.
Psalm 'Laudate pueri'

ANT. I will sacrifice the sacrifice or praise, and I will call upon the Name of the Lord
Psalm 115 'Credidi, propter quod locutus sum.'

Brethren, Christ humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross; for which cause, God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a Name, which is above all names: that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow.

Magnificat Antiphon:
Thou shalt call his Name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins. Alleluia.

Let us pray:
O God, who didst appoint thy Only Begotten Son the Saviour of Mankind, and commanded that his Name should be called Jesus: mercifully grant, that we who venerate his holy Name on earth, may also enjoy his sight in heaven. Through the same, &c.

Commemmoration of the 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany:
ANT. The wine failing, Jesus commanded that the waterpots should be filled with water, and it was changed into wine. Alleluia.
v. Let my prayer, O Lord, be directed,
r. As incense in they sight.

Let us pray
O Almighty and Eternal God, supreme Ruler both of heaven and earth, mercifully give ear to the prayers of thy people, and grant us peace in our time. Through, &c.

Dom Gueranger on the Second Sunday after Epiphany: Pt. 2

"It is on the Wedding-Day that the Bridegroom gives his Name to his Bride, and it is the sign that, from that day forward, she belongs to him alone. The Church, therefore, would honour the Name of her Divine Spouse with an especial Feast, and no day could be more appropriate for it than this of the Marriage at Cana.

"The first promoter of the Feast was St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444). (He) established the pracice of representing the Holy Name of Jesus surrounded with rays, and formed into a monogram of its three first letters IHS*. The custom spread rapidly and was zealously propagated by St. John of Capestrano (1386-1456) who, like St Bernadine, was of the Order of Friars Minor....In the early part of the 16th century Pope Clement the Sixth.....granted to that Order the privilege of keeping a special Feast in honour of the Most Holy Name of Jesus..... In the year 1721, at the request of Charles the Sixth, Emperor of Germany....,Pope Innocent the Twelfth decreed that the Feast.....should be kept throughout the whole Church; he also chose the Second Sunday after Epiphany as the day."

*Translator's note: The Name was, anciently, often written 'Ihesus'.

Extracts from Vespers for today's Feast, will follow in the next post.

Dom Gueranger on the Second Sunday after Epiphany and Feast of the Most Holy Name Of Jesus: Pt. I.

"The Star has led the soul to faith; the sanctified Waters of the Jordan have conferred purity upon her; the Marriage-Feast unites her to her God. We have been considering....the Bridegroom revealing himself to his Spouse; we have heard him calling her to come to him from the heights of Libanus; and now, after having enlightened and purified her, he invites her to the heavenly feast, where she is to receive the Wine of his divine love."

But at the earthly marriage feast in Cana, the wine fails.

"Wine is the symbol of Charity or Love, and Charity had failed on the earth.....
The True Vine is our Jesus......He alone could give the 'wine which gladdens the heart of man'; he alone could give us that Chalice which inebriateth......

"Thus divine Charity, which dwells in the Sacrament of Love, is communicated to us; and, that we might not be unworthy of the espousals with himself, to which he called us, he raises us up even to himself........."

Dom Gueranger identifies separate commissions which the Holy Spirit gave to the Evangelsist. St. Matthew, "the Evangelist of the Humanity of our Lord, is to announce "the Mystery of Faith by the Star"; St. Luke, "the evangelist of Jesus' priesthood" is to instruct us in the Mystery of His baptism; but it is John the Beloved Disciple who is to reveal the Mystery of the Marriage-Feast.

" He (John) suggests the object of this third Mystery: 'This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and he manifested his glory.'

"At Cana it is Jesus himself who acts, and he acts as God, for, says St. Augustine, He who changed the water into wine ......could be no other than the One who, every year, works the same miracle in the vine. Hence it was, that from that day, as St. John tells us, 'his disciples believed in him' and the Apostolic College began to be formed."

Part II on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus to follow in next post

Second Sunday after Epiphany

Sunday 18 January 2008

Second Sunday after Epiphany

2nd Class; Green
Gloria; Credo; Preface of the Holy Trinity


Omnípotens sempitérne Deus, qui cæléstia simul et terréna moderáris : supplicatiónes pópuli tui cleménter exáudi; et pacem tuam nostris concéde tempóribus. Per Dñm.

Let us Pray:

O Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things both in Heaven and on earth: mercifully hear the prayers of Thy people, and grant us Thy peace in our time. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity...


The marriage at Cana is commemorated in the Gosepl today (John 2:1-11): the first miracle of Jesus. Mary, full of charity, asks of Jesus His first miracle. Jesus, at the request of His Mother, anticipates the hour appointed for the manifestation of His Divinity to His Disciples, so that He puts His power at the service of His love.

N.B. Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity begins today.

(image: eastern icon of the Marriage at Cana)

notes: Season after Epiphany

Notes for the Liturgy during the Season after Epiphany

1. On the fourth class days, one may say the Mass of the preceding Sunday, the Mass of any of the Saints commemorated (with Gloria), the Mass of any feast listed in the Martyrology for the day (with Gloria), Mass for the Dead, or any votive Mass.

2. Church Unity Octave: January 18th to January 25th inclusive for the intention of the unity of the entire Catholic Church. On January 18th, a fourth class Votive Mass of the Chair of St. Peter may be celebrated for the opening of the Octave. (The Mass is that of the feast, February 22nd, except that the Gloria and the Creed are omitted, and a commemoration of St. Prisca is added at low Mass only.)

3. February 2nd: the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a feast of the Lord of the Second Class. Before the main Mass, there is a blessing of candles and procession. The celebrant wears a white Cope, the ministers wear a white dalmatic and tunic. Following the procession, Mass begins immediately with the incensation and the Introit, omitting the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. Candles are lit and held during the Gospel and throughout the Canon. Beginning February 2nd, the Marian antiphon at the end of Compline is Ave Regina Cœlorum until Wednesday in Holy Week inclusive.

4. February 3rd: traditionally there is a blessing of throats with two candles blessed with the special blessing found in the Rituale Romanum.

(excerpted/adapted from the 2009 Liturgical Ordo, Priestly Fraternity of St Peter)

January 13th: Dom Gueranger on the Octave of the Epiphany

Extract from the commentary of Dom Guéranger:

" The thoughts of the Church, today, are fixed on the Baptism of our Lord in the Jordan, which is the second of the three Mysteries of the Epiphany.......

"The Star has led the Magi to Christ; they had long waited for his coming, they had hoped for it; now, they believe.......................But faith is not sufficient for salvation; the stain of sin must be washed away by water.......The time is come then for a new manifestation of the Son of God, whereby shall be inaugurated the great remedy, which is to give to Faith, the power of producing life eternal.....

"But in order that Water should have the power to purify man from his sins, it was necessary that it should be brought in contact with the sacred Body of the Incarnate God.

"Let us honour our Lord in this second Manifestation of his divinity, and thank him, with the Church, for his having given us both the Star of Faith which enlightens us, and the Water of Baptism which cleanses us from our iniquities."

Dom Gueranger makes his usual selection from the Liturgies of all the Churches. "Let us make a concert" of them he says, as we "once more sing the praises of the divine Epiphany - the Theophany." The items on his programme cover ten pages: here are some jewels from five of them:

1."Thirty years of his life had passed, and He, the infinitely pure God, seeks the laver of baptism. John, the favoured Baptist, trembles as he bends the head of Jesus beneath the waters....."
(from the Hymn of St. Hilary of Poitiers on the three mysteries of this great Octave)

2."Father of eternal light...thou didst open the heavens and bless the air, and purify the stream: and thou didst announce him to be thine Only Begotten Son by the Holy Ghost who appeared in the form of a Dove.... On this day did the waters receive thy benediction, and take away our malediction, so that they give to believers the purification of all their sins, and make them, by adoption, sons of God unto life everlasting. For, they that were born by the flesh unto temporal life, and made by sin subject to death, have been admitted into life everlasting, and restored to the glory of the heavenly kingdom."

(from the Preface of the Ambrosian Church of Milan)

3. "The Saviour crushed the serpent's head in the river Jordan, and delivered us all from his power. A great Mystery is this day declared to us; for the Creator of all wipes away our sins in the Jordan. The springs of water were sancified when the glory of Christ was manifested: all ye countries of the earth, draw out waters from the Saviour's fountains....."
(from "precious remnants of the ancient Gallican Liturgy: they are of oriental origin, and are still preserved in the Cistercian Breviary".)

4. "The Dove is seen: the voice of the Father speaks his love of the Son, therefore making known his glory. The word of John bears also testimony; and the law of love is begun."
(from the Sequence in the ancient Paris Missals)

5. "Thou didst go down into the river; thou didst enlighten all things that they might glorify thee, O Saviour, thou Light of our souls!...... He that is clad in light as with a garment, deigned, for our sakes to become like unto us. Today, he girds himself with the waters of the Jordan, not needing them for his own purification, but that he might give regeneration to us through himself. O wondrous work!.............. Christ is baptised, and comes up from the water; he raises up the world with himself, and sees that heaven opened which Adam had closed against himself and his children. The Spirit, too, proclaims the divinity of Him that was baptised, and a Voice from heaven is heard at the same time. Thus is Christ declared to be the Saviour of our souls."
(from the Menaea of the Greek Church)

January12th: Dom Gueranger on the Seventh day of the Epiphany Octave

The ancient tradition that the Magi were baptised by St. Thomas the Apostle, and thereafter devoted themselves to preaching the Gospel, probably dates from about the close of the 6th century. Dom Gueranger tells us that it 'is put in all the editions of St. John Chrysostom as quoted from the author of 'The Imperfect Work on St. Matthew'.....

Extracts from today's commentary:
"The Relics of these holy Kings were translated from Persia to Constantinople, under the first christian Emperors, and, for a long time, were kept in the Church of Saint Sophia. At a later period, they were translated to Milan............. There they remained unti the 12th century, when, through the influence of Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, they were translated to the Cathedral Church of Cologne by Reynold, Archbishop of that metropolitan See."

From Dom Guéranger's prayer to the Magi for their intercession:

"Thus have we followed you, O blessed Magi! Fathers of the Gentile-world! from your first setting out from the East for Bethlehem, to your return to your own country, and even to your sacred resting place................Watch over us, and protect the Church. Be mindful of those Eastern countries, whence rises to the earth the light of day, the beautiful image of your own journey............. Bless this western world of ours, .........Faith has grown weak among us; re-enkindle it. Obtain of the divine mercy, that the West may ever send forth her messengers of salvation....... Pray for the Church of Cologne, ......may she preserve the faith, may she defend her sacred rights and liberty; may she be the bulwark of Catholic Germany, and be ever blessed by the protection of her Three Kings..............Lastly we beseech you, O venerable Magi! to introduce us to the Infant Jesus and his blessed Mother; and grant us to go through (Christmastide) with hearts burning with love for the Divine Child, and may that same love abide with us during the pilgrimage of our life on this earth."

Baptism of Our Lord

Tuesday 13 January 2009

Commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ

2nd Class, White
Gloria; Credo; Preface of the Epiphany


Deus, cuius Unigénitus in substántia nostræ carnis appáruit : præsta quæsumus; ut per eum, quem símilem nobis foris agnóvimus, intus reformári mereámur : Qui tecum vivit.

Let us Pray:

O God, whose Only-Begotten Son hath appeared in the substance of our flesh: grant, we beseech Thee, that by Him, in whom outwardly we recognise our likeness, we may deserve to be inwardly created anew: Who liveth and reigneth...

(image: Maronite icon of the Baptism of Our Lord)

Dom Gueranger on the Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany

Extract from Dom Guéranger's commentary on today's Epistle at Mass: Romans 12: 1-5:

"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 be accompanied by a formal intention of offering itself to its Creator......

"Let us imitate the Magi, who 'went back another way into their country' - let us 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 his 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, partakiing of his life, his wisdom, his light, and his kingly character."

At Vespers:

"Brethren, I beseech you by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service."

After the Magnificat:
"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 the know. Through &c.

"Commemoration of the Epiphany
ANT. We celebrate a fesival 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.
R. Bringing gold and frankincense, alleluia.

Let us pray.
O God, who by the direction of a star, didst this day manifest thy Only Son to the Gentiles: mercifully grant, that we, who know thee by faith, may come, at length, to see the glory of thy Majesty. Through the same &c."

January 10th: Fifth Day within the Octave of Epiphany: Sequence 'Flos pudicitiae'

"As our offering to our Lady, we will recite this beautiful Sequence, which our own dear England used to sing in the Middle-Ages."

Flos pudicitiae,
Aula munditiae,
Mater misericordiae.
Salve Virgo serena,
Vitae vena,
Lux amoena,
Rore plena
Septiformis Spiritus,
Ac moribus

(O flower of purity! Sanctuary of chastity! Mother of mercy!
Hail, gentle Maid! Source of Life! Beautiful light!
Full of the dew of the sevenfold Spirit!
Adorned with all virtues, and blooming in holiness of life!)

Rosa jucunda,
Castitatis lilium,
Prole foecunda,
Gignis Dei Filium;
Virgoque munda
Tu post puerperium.
Modo miro,
Sine viro,
Prole foecundaris.

(Sweet Rose! Lily of chastity! Fruirful Mother,
Thou givest birth to the Son of God!
And after thy delivery thou remainest a pure Virgin!
Thou art made His Mother in a wonderful way -
nature stood aside to let its God do all.)

Summi Ducis
Verae lucis
Partu decoraris.
Virga, flore,
Rubo, rore
Virgo designaris.

(How beautiful art thou by giving birth
to Him that is the very Light - the great King!
Those ancient figures of the Law -
the Rod, the Flower, the Bush, the Dew
- all were types of thee, sweet Virgin Mother!)

Digna Domini paris.
Virgo prolem Stella solem,
Profers, expers paris.

(And Gedeon's Fleece, soaked with the dew of Heaven,
foreshadowed thee O Mary, the worthy Mother of our God!
Thou art a Virgin, and thou hast a Child!
Thou art a Star, and thou bringest forth a Sun!
Dear peerless Queen!)

Ob hoc rite,
Via vitae
Jure praedicaris.
Tu spes, et refugium
Lapsorum humilium:
Tu medela criminum,
Salus poenitentium.

(And after this, can men be found who deem it wrong
to call them 'the Way of Life'?
Thou art the Hope, and the Refuge of humble sinners;
thou healest them whose hearts are sick from crime,
and thou winnest salvation for them that repent.)

Tu solamen tristium,
Levamen debilium;
Tu purgatrix sordium,
Confirmatrix cordium.

(Thou art the comfortress of the afflicted,
and the support of the weak;
the unclean of heart ask thee to pray them pure,
and souls discouraged get bravery from thee.)

Tu laus, tu remedium
In te confidentium:
Tu vitale praemium
Tibi servientium.

(Thou art the glory and the helper of them
that have confidence in thee; and, by thy prayers,
thou obtainest the reward of eternal life for them that serve thee.)

O pia Maria,
Lapsid advocata,
Tu cunctis miseris
Dulcis spes et grata.

(O Mary, full of motherly love! thou art the sinner's advocate,
and the sweet consoling hope of them that are in wretchedness.)

Erige, direge
Corda tuorum,
Ad pia gaudia
Regni coelorum.
Quo vere gaudere
Per te possimus,
Cum Natoque tuo,
Regnantes simus Amen.

(Raise up the hearts of us thy clients,
and turn them to the holy joys of the heavenly kingdom.
Where we may, by thy intercession, truly rejoice,
and reign together with thy Son. Amen)

January 10th: Dom Gueranger on the Fifth Day of the Epiphany Octave

"Bethlehem is not merely the birthplace of our Redeemer; it is the cradle of the Church................

Extract from Dom Guéranger's prayer for today:

"We, dear Babe of Bethlehem! - we the Gentiles, who, by our regeneration, have become the posterity of these first Christians (the Magi) - we adore thee as they did........Long ages have passed away; but there has been an unbroken procession of people and nations tending towards thee under the guidance of the Star of Faith. We have been made members of thy Church, and we adore thee with the Magi......(But) we are happier than these first born of the Church (in that)we have heard thy sacred words and teachings, we have contemplated thy sufferings and thy Cross, we have been witnesses of thy Resurrection, we have heard the whole universe, from the rising to the setting of the sun, hymning thy blessed and glorious name...................... The Church, the ever-enduring Bethlehem, the House of the Bread of Life, gives thee to us, and we are for ever feasting on thy adorabble beauty. Yea sweet Jesus, we adore thee with the Magi."

Dom Gueranger has not let a day of the Octave pass without paying tribute to Our Lady, both in his own words and by quoting works from the Fathers and Poets of the several Churches. In the next post, to redress the omission so far, of any example, we give today's selection in both English and Latin. It is 'the beautiful Sequence (Flos pudicitiae), which our own dear England used to sing in the Middle-Ages'.

The Holy Family

Sunday 11 January 2008

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary & Joseph

2nd Class, White
Gloria; Credo; Preface of the Epiphany
(No commemoration of the Sunday)


Dómine Iesu Christe, qui, Maríæ et Ioseph súbditus, domésticam vitam ineffabílibus virtútibus consecrásti : fac nos, utriúsque auxílio, Famíliæ sanctæ tuæ exémplis instrui; et consórtium cónsequi sempitérnum : Qui vivis et regnas.

Let us Pray:

O Lord Jesus Christ, who, being subject to Mary and Joseph, didst santify home life with ineffable virtues: grant that, with the aid of both, we may be taught by the example of Thy Holy Family, and attain to eternal fellowship with them: Who livest and reignest...


The special devotion which sets forth the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the model for virtue for all Christian households began in the seventeenth Century. Pope Benedict XV extended the Feast of the holy Family to the whole Church and ordered it be celebrated on the Sunday after Epiphany.


January 9th: Dom Gueranger on the Fourth day of the Epiphany Octave.

I have been called away and therefore only have time for a brief extract from Dom Guéranger's own prayer for today. I dedicate it especially to Fr Mark Kirby in thanksgiving for his daily guidance towards the Light, that is Vultus Christi.

"O dear Jesus! we also are following thee; we are walking in thy light, for thou hast said, in the Prophecy of thy beloved Disciple: 'I am the bright and Morning Star.' (Apoc. 22:16) The meteor that guides the Magi is but thy symbol, O divine Star!..................

"May thy light ever beam upon us! May we like the Magi, be obedient to its guidance, and ready to leave all things in order to follow it! We were sitting in darkness when thou didst call us to thy grace, by making this thy light shine upon us. We were fond of our darkness, and thou gavest us a love for the Light! Dear Jesus! keep up this love within us. Let not sin, which is darkness, ever approach us. Preserve us from the delusion of a false conscience.........May thy Star guide us through life, and bring us to thee, our King, our Peace, our Love!" Amen

January 8th: Dom Gueranger on the third day of the Epiphany Octave

" The great Mystery of the Alliance of the Son of God with the universal Church, and which is represented in the Epiphany by the Magi, was looked forward to by the world in every age previous to the coming of our Emmanuel. The Patiarchs and Prophets had propagated the tradition; and the Gentile world gave frequent proofs that the tradition prevailed even with them."

After the above introduction, Dom Gueranger traces that 'looking forward', from Adam through to Solomon and David, and from them, through the Prophets, to Ezekiel and Isaiah. He then returns to his statement that their expectation is found among the Gentiles.

"The Sibyls kept up the hope in the heart of the people and in Rome itself, we find the Poet Virgil repeating,....the oracles they had pronounced:

'The last age, foretold by the Cumean Sibyl, is at hand: a new and glorious era is coming; a new race is being sent down to earth from heaven. At the birth of this Child, the iron age will cease, and one of gold will rise upon the whole world. No remnants of our crimes will be left, and their removal will free the earth from its never-ending fear.' (Eclog. IV)

Dom Guéranger continues:

"If we are unwilling to accept, as dis St. Augustine and so many other holy Fathers, these Sibylline oracles as the expression of the ancient traditions - we have pagan philosophers and historians, such as Cicero, Tacitus, and Suetonius, testifying, that, in their times, the world was in expectation of a Deliverer; that this Deliverer would come, not only from the East, but from Judea; and that a Kingdom was on the point of being established, which would include the entire world."

There follows another prayer to Jesus, and then a further selection from the several Churches. This includes another Hymn by Prudentius, "the Prince of our Latin Liturgical Poets"; a Sequence taken from the ancient Roman-French Missals, and a Prayer from the Sacramentary of the ancient Gallican Church. Sadly on this post, there is only time and space to reproduce the latter.

"O God, who, in all thy works art rich in mercy! Father of glory! who didst set thy Son as a light to the Gentiles, that he might preach redemption to captives, and give sight to the blind; O thou that art through Christ plenteous in thy mercy! grant us the remission of our sins, and fellowship, through faith, with the Saints. Through the same Christ our Lord &c. Amen."

January 7th: Dom Gueranger on the Second day of the Epiphany Octave

Dom Guéranger identifies the Magi as the heralds of the conversion of all nations; as "Fathers of the Gentiles in the faith of the Redeeemer2 ; and as "Patriarchs of the human race regenerated".

"They arrive at Bethlehem, according to the tradition of the Church, three in number; and this tradition is handed down by St. Leo, by St. Maximus of Turin, by St. Cesarius of Arles, and by the christian paintings in the Catacombs of Rome, which paintings belong to the period of the Persecustions............

"They come to Bethleham, and they are followed by countless generations. In them, the figures (from the Old Testament) become the grand reality...."

Dom Guéranger follows this with a prayer to Jesus and with an exhortation that we should now contemplate a selection of "Hymns and Prayers of the several Churches in praise of the Mysteries of the glorious Epiphany".

"We take the three following solemn prayers from the Gregorian Sacramentary:

The first is as follows:

" O God, the enlightenment of all nations, give thy people to enjoy perpetual peace, and infuse into our hearts that shining light, which thou didst enkindle in the minds of the three Magi."

Dom Gueranger on the Octave of the Epiphany

"The only Octaves during the year, that are superior to this of the Epiphany, are those of Easter and Pentecost. It has a privilege, which the Octave of Christmas does not; for no Feast can be kept during (it), unless it be that of a Patron of first class.....It would even seem, judging from the ancient Sacramentaries, that, anciently, the two days immediately following the Epiphany were Days of obligation, as were (those following) Easter and Whitsuntide. The names of the Stational Churches are given, where the Clergy and Faithful of Rome assembled on these two days.......

"In order that we may the more fully enter into the spirit of the Church, during this glorious Octave, we will contemplate, each day, the Mystery of the Vocation of the Magi............"

Epiphany: Dom Gueranger on First and Second Vespers

First and Second Vespers are almost exactly the same.

"1. ANT. The Lord our Saviour, begotten before the day-star and all ages, appeared to the world on this day.

Psalm 109: Dixit Dominus

2. ANT. Thy light is come, O Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee; and the Gentiles shall walk in thy light. Alleluia

Psalm 110 Confitebor tibi

3. ANT. Opening their treasures, the Magi offered to the Lord gold, frankincens and myrrh. Alleluia

Psalm 111 Beatus Vir

4. ANT. Ye seas, and rivers, bless the Lord: ye fountains, sing a hymn to the Lord. Alleluia.

Psalm 112 Laudate pueri

5. At First Vespers
ANT. This star shineth as a flame, and pointeth out God, the King of kings: The Magi saw it, and offered gifts to the great King.
Psalm 116 Laudate Dominum omnes gentes
5. At Second Vespers
Psalm 113 In exitu Israel

Capitulum - Surge, illuminare Is. 60
Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

"There follows the Hymn. It is the beautiful one composed by Sedulius, of which we sang the opening stanzas in the Lauds of Christmas Day. In the verses selected for the present Feast, the Church celebrates the three Epiphanies: Bethlehem, the Jordan, and Cana, each, in its turn, manifested the glory of Jesus, our great King.

Hymn Crudelis Herodes

V. The kings of Tharsis and the islnds, shall offer presents.
R. The Kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts.

Magnificat Antiphon at First Vespers:
The Magi, seeing the Star, said to each other: This is the sign of the great King: let us go and seek him, and offer him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Alleluia.

Magnificat Antiphon at Second Vespers:
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.

After the Magnificat:

Let us pray
O God, who by the direction of a star, didst this day manifest thy only Son to the Gentiles: merciffully grant that we, who now know thee by faith, may cone at length to seee the glory of the Majesty. Through the same, &c.

"At First Vespers the Church had "opened her chants in honour of the divine Theophany. Tomorrow, the offering of the great Sacrifice, will unite us all in the prayers we present to our King and Saviour.

Let us finish this day in recollection and joy."

Dom Gueranger: Last words before Epiphany

"The heavens have dropped down their Dew, the clouds have rained down the Just One, the earth has yielded its Saviour, THE WORD IS MADE FLESH, the Virgin has brought forth her sweet Fruit - our Emmanuel, that is, God with us. The Sun of Justice now shines upon us; darkness has fled; in heaven there is Glory to God; on earth, there is Peace to men. All these blessings have been brought to us by the humble yet glorious Birth of this Child. Let us adore Him in his Crib; let us love him for all his love of us; and let us prepare the gifts we intend to present to him, with the Magi, on tomorrow's Feast. The joy of the Church is as great as ever; the Angels are adoring in their wondering admiration; all nature thrills with delight:- Unto us is born a little Child!"

January 5th: Dom Gueranger on the Vigil of the Epiphany. Commemoration of St. Telephorus

"This Pontiff began his reign in the year 127; and among his decrees, we find that of his prescribing the holy sacrifice of the Mass to be offered on Christmas Night, in order to honour the hour when our Saviour was born; he also ordered that the Angelic Hymn 'Gloria in excelsis' should be said, on most days at the beginning of Mass. This devotion of the holy Pope towards the great Mystery which we are now celebrating, renders his commemoration at this season of the year doubly dear to us. Telesphorus suffered a glorious martyrdom, as St. Ireneus expresses it, and was crowned with eternal glory in the year 138."

Epiphany of the Lord

Tuesday 6 January 2008

The Epiphany of the Lord
1st Class, White
Gloria; Credo; Preface of the Epiphany
Proper Communicantes


Deus, qui hodiérna die Unigéntium tuum géntibus stella duce revelásti : concéde propítius; ut, qui iam te ex fide cognóvimus, usque ad contemplándam spéciem tuæ celsitúdinis perducámur. Per eúndem Dóminum.

Let us Pray:

O God, who on this day didst manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles by the guidance of a star: graciously grant, that we, who know Thee now by faith, may be led even to contemplate the beauty of Thy Majesty. Through the same...


The word "Epiphany" means "manifestation". The Church in the Mass, commemorates a triple manifestation of Christ: 1) to the Magi, that is, to the Gentiles; 2) in His Baptism, when the Voice from Heaven declared: "This is My Beloved Son"; and 3) in the miracle of changing water into wine at Cana.

The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. The magi's coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament. The Epiphany shows that "the full number of the nations" now takes its "place in the family of the patriarchs", and acquires Israelitica dignitas (is made "worth of the heritage of Israel") (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 528).

20 + C + M + B + 09

...consider the old custom of inscribing "C.M.B." and the year in chalk above your door lintel. The "C.M.B." either stands for the traditional names of the Magi (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) or the Latin prayer Christus Mansionem Benedicat ("May Christ bless this dwelling!"). Fr Nicholas described this a few years back at Roman Miscellany.


January 5th: Dom Gueranger on the Octave of St. Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, and Martyr

"It is but fitting that the Country, which was beautified with the blood of the illustrious Martyr, should honour his memory with especial fervour, and keep up his Feast during the joyful Octaves of Stephen, of John, the Beloved Disciple, and the Innocents of Bethlehem."

Conclusion of a Prose, taken from the ancient Missals of Liege:

"O thou gem of the Priesthood! O glorious Pontiff Thomas! thy prayers are ne'er refused - oh! calm the rebellion of our flesh.

That being rooted in Christ, the true Vine, we may receive the solid rewards of eternal life. Amen.

".....the Episcopal Hierarchy has reappeared in this beautiful Isle of ours, where thou wast once the Primate, vested with the sacred Pallium. Oh! protect the Bishops who are now so zealously governing the vineyard over which thou didst once preside, and for which thou didst shed thy blood. Ask our Lord to increase the number of his Priests; for the harvest is great, and the labourers are few. May they be endued, by the Master of the Vineyard, with the spirit of patience and courage; may they be powerful in word and work, and may their name, as thine is, be held in blessing by future generations!"

January 4th: Extract from Dom Gueranger on the Octave of Holy Innocents

"Prudentius, the Poet of the Mysteries and the Martyrs, and from whom the Church has taken her beautiful stanzas for the Feast of the Holy Innocents, 'Salvete, Flores Martyrum', - celebrates the immolation of these lovely Babes of Bethlehem, in his exquisite Hymn for the Epiphany. It is from this Hymn that the Roman Liturgy has had recourse for several great Feasts; and we now extract from it the strophes which refer to our dear Innocents."

Here are three:

"Hail, ye Flowers of the Martyrs! The enemy of Christ cut you down in the very threshold of life, as rose-buds are snapped by a storm.

First Victims for Jesus! Tender flock of his Martyrs!ye, with sweet simplicity, play with palms and your crowns, even at the very altar of your sacrifice!

And what does Herod gain by this dark crime? Does it give him what he sought? The single One he cared to kill is Jesus, and He still lives!"

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

Sunday 4 January 2009

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

2nd Class, White
Gloria; Credo; Preface of the Nativity


Deus, qui unigénitum Fílium tuum constituísti humáni géneris Salvatórem, et Jesum vocári jussísti: concéde propítius; ut, cujus sanctum nomen venerámur in terris, ejus quoque aspéctu perfruámur in cœlis. Per eúmdem Dóminum...

Let us Pray:

O God, who didst constitute Thine only-begotten Son the Saviour of mankind, and didst bid Him be called Jesus: mercifully grant, that we who venerate His Holy Name on earth, may fully enjoy also the vision of Him in heaven. Through the same...


January 3rd: Extract from Dom Gueranger on the Octave of St. John

"We take from the Menaea of the Greek Church a selection of stanzas in honour of the holy Evangelist:

'Thy tongue was made the pen of Him who wrote by thee - the Holy Ghost; it showed us, by divine inspiration, the venerable and divine Gospel.

The blaze of thy great and divine Theology, O glorious Apostle, illumined the earth that was shining with a triple light.

Truly was thy divinely taught tongue, O Theologian, as the pen of one that writes swiftly, for it beautifully wrote on the tablets of our hearts the true knowledge and the New Law..................'

'Let us now loudly celebrate in spiritual canticles this servant of Christ: he is the flower of holy Virginity, the chosen dwelling of sublime virtues, the instrument of wisdom, the temple of the Spirit, the burning tongue of the Church, the most bright eye of charity, the most venerable John.

O Evangelist John! angelic virgin, taught of God! 'twas thou didst tell us of that Sacred Side, from whence, as from a most limpid stream, flowed Blood and Water: thou didst teach our souls the way to life eternal.' "

January 2nd: Extract from Dom Gueranger on the Octave of St. Stephen

" The Gothic Liturgy of Spain gives us, in its Mozarabic Missal, the following admirable Prayer to St. Stephen:


Most blessed Protomartyr Stephen! thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord hath named: for that thou, who didst suffer death for him, didst, by him receive a 'Crown' for thy name, and a 'Crown' for thy virtue. Thou wast the first in Martyrdom, and first in its reward; first Martyr in the world, and first in the courts of heaven. Here, stoned for Christ; there, exulting in the Crown he gave thee. Here, thou didst suffer, for his sake, the most cruel torments; there, thou didst receive the most precious Crown. Thou, therefore, that wast the first flower of the Church, be now her untiring patron; that so, by thy prayers, that Jesus, for whose sake thou wast a glorious Martyr, may be merciful unto us."