Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.
The Epiphany of Our Lord.
Station at Saint Peter's.
Indulgence of 30 Years and 30 Quarantines.
Double of The First-Class.
Privileged Octave of The Second Order.
God manifests Himself to The Magi by a Star.
Illustration: UNA VOCE OF ORANGE COUNTY
Artist: Rene de Cramer.
Used with Permission.
This Feast was kept in The East from the 3rd-Century A.D., and its observance spread to The West towards the end of the 4th-Century A.D. The word "Epiphany" means "Manifestation", and, just as at Christmas, it is the Mystery of God appearing in visible form; only, no longer does He show Himself to the Jews, alone, but, "on this day", it is "to the Gentiles that God reveals His Son (Collect).
In a magnificent vision, Isaias beheld The Church as typified by Jerusalem, whither should flock Kings and Nations, the "multitude of the sea" and the "strength of the Gentiles", coming from afar with countless caravans, singing The Lord's praises and bringing Him Frankincense and Gold (Epistle). "The Kings of the Earth shall Adore Him, all Nations shall Serve Him" (Offertory). In today's Gospel, we see this Prophecy fulfilled.
While at Christmas we extolled the union of Our Lord's Divinity with His Humanity, at The Epiphany we honour the mystic union of Souls with Christ. "This day, a Star led The Wise Men to The Manger; this day, water was turned into wine at the marriage feast; this day, Christ chose to be Baptised by John in The Jordan for our Salvation, Alleluia." [Antiphon for Second Vespers.]
So we read in today's Liturgy, which thus connects this Feast with that of The Octave Day and of The Second Sunday after The Epiphany.
At Saint Peter's, where are the Relics of The Church's first visible Head, The Liturgical Celebration of the entry of the Gentiles into The Church takes place. "In the Adoring Magi," says Saint Leo, "let us acknowledge the first-fruits of our own Calling and Faith; and let us Commemorate, with hearts full of joy, the foundations of this, our Blessed Hope. For, from this moment, we have begun to enter our Heavenly Patrimony."
Every Parish Priest says Mass for the people of his Parish.
Mass: Ecce advénit.
Preface: For The Epiphany. [Said throughout The Octave.]
Communicantes: For The Epiphany. [Said throughout The Octave.]
Solemnity of The Epiphany.
In Countries where The Epiphany is not a Holiday of Obligation, The Solemn Celebration may be observed (and The Indulgences gained) on the following Sunday.
One Sung Mass may be Celebrated as on The Feast itself, the others being of The Feast of The Holy Family, with Commemoration and Last Gospel of The Sunday. The same Commemoration and Last Gospel are said in The Mass of The Solemnity, unless there be also a Sung Mass of The Holy Family.