Sunday, January 2, 2011

The 9th Day of Christmas - The Epiphany of Our Lord

January 2, Solemnity of the Epiphany

Old Calendar: The Most 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:
1) the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi
2) the Baptism of Christ and
3) 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 Name of Jesus which is kept on the First Sunday in the year; but if this Sunday falls on January 1, 6, or 7, the feast is kept on January 2.

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