Friday, 5 January 2018

REPOST: Information for the Feast of the Epiphany Jan 6 in the EF Calendar (2nd Sunday after New Years in O.F.)

REPOSTED FROM Jan 6, 2013 ( with slight changes for this year of 2017:

FYI .... Missa Canata/Sung High Mass for Epiphany @ 0930h/am tomorrow, Jan 6, 2017, with blessing of Epiphany Holy Water in the EF at 0915h/am in Mississauga (Toronto proper), at Carmel Heights Retirement Home chapel. Celebrant is veteran priest to the EF Mass in Toronto, Fr. Russell Asch. 

Hello Everyone,

I decided for this Sunday's liturgical feast, that of the Epiphany, because both the Ordinary and the Extraordiary Forms' calendars are in rare sync, and there are some fun and family-freindy Traditional Catholic practices associated with this feast day (that in my opinion SHOULD be resurrected by Catholic families everywhere), I bring to you some information on this feast day, including the traditions herein in the Church.

The information I bring to you, comes from a word document I created for myself that is for my info, but also for my future children someday to teach them about major liturgical calendar days of the year. Here I share with you one portion: That of the Feast of the Epiphany:

Feast of the Epiphany

When? – Usually January 6 in both forms, however in the Novus Ordo it is usually moved to the Sunday near it after Christmas.

What? – From Crossroads Initiative of Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio: “The Solemn feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, traditionally occurs on January 6 following the twelve days of Christmas.  Epiphany commemorates three scriptural events: the visit of the Magi to the stable of Bethlehem following the nativity of Jesus, Christ's Baptism in the Jordan, and his first miracle at the wedding feast at Cana.  This Epiphany article focuses on the significance of the Magi or three wise men who follow the star in search of the King of kings.”

Also from Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of the Diocese of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: “The Epiphany celebrates the peoples of the world coming to know God's Son as their Saviour. In the words of Ephesians concerning Jesus' death and resurrection, thereby 'the Gentiles have become fellow heirs [with believing Jews], members of the same body [the Church, Christ's Body], and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel'.”

From the 1962 Baronius Press Missal:
“The word “epiphany” means “manifestation.” The Church in the Mass, commemorates a triple manifestation of Christ: to the Magi, that is, to the Gentiles; in His Baptism, when the Voice from "Heaven declared: “This is My Beloved Son”; and in the miracle of changing the water into wine at Cana.”

Source: January 6, The Epiphany of Our Lord. The Daily Missal and Liturgical Missal with Vespers For Sundays and Feasts From the Editio Typica of the Roman Missal and Breviary, 1962 With Supplements Containing The Additional Masses for Englang and Wales, Scotland, United States and Australasia. Summorum Pontificum Edition. Baronius Press: London. 2009. p.237.

1. It is this part of the season of Advent liturgically where we are introduced to the “Wise Men/Kings” in the readings. People think the wise men are associated with Christmas. They are in the SEASON of Advent or more traditionally known as the Octave of Christmas, but not Christmas (the Feast of the Nativity) itself.

2. This is a HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION according to the Catechism. In other parts of the world this feast day might be transferred to the previous Sunday before the 6th. Regardless, the Catholic obligation to Mass must be obeyed, Sunday or not:

The Sunday Eucharist
2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord’s Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church’s life. “Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church.”110
“Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints.”111

Extraordinary Form
Isaiah 60:1-6 and Matthew 2:1-12

Novus Ordo
Also Isaiah 60:1-6, Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6 and Matthew 2:1-12. No change from the EF except for the addition of a 2nd reading for the NO liturgy.

Benedict XVI, Pope. Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI Vatican Basilica Thursday Jan 6, 2010. Online. Available: []. 14 Jan 2010.


Blessed Chalk Writing with Epiphany Holy Water blessing - -  

"Various customs have developed around Epiphany. In the East, there is a solemn blessing of water. In the West, in the Middle Ages, houses were blessed on Epiphany. Holy water was sprinkled in each room. The whole family was involved. The father led the procession with a shovel of charcoal on which he burned incense and the oldest son had the bowl of holy water. The rest of the family followed along saying the rosary and/or singing hymns. While the father and oldest son were incensing and blessing the house, the youngest child carried a plate of chalk. The chalk had been blessed with a special blessing after morning Mass. The father took the blessed chalk and wrote over every room that led outside: 20 + C + M + B + 08 which stands for "Anno Domini 2008 -- Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar" and means "The three Holy Kings, Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar, in the year of Our Lord, 2008" or whatever the year may be. The letters C, M, and B are also thought to stand for Christus mansionem benedicat, meaning "Christ bless this home." This tradition of blessing the doorways symbolizes the family's commitment to welcome Christ into their homes on a daily basis through the year."

So guess what? It's not just a "Middle Ages" tradition to be left back in the 1400's, you can do this beautiful family tradition as well! My [former] serving ally Robin provided this photo on our Latin Mass associated facebook group so I hope he does not mind me posting this here. Here is the picture with instructions as to what the priest or the head of the household (Father usually speaking) is to do with the blessed chalk and Epiphany holy water, though note one correction: The number at the end should be 13 17 to mark the year as 2013 2017:

Now you may be asking what to do about how to get that chalk blessed? Well, Domincan Priest Dom Mark Kirby  at Vultus Christi - - Provides us with the appropriate prayer in English that a priest should use to bless the chalk:

Blessing of Chalk
V. Our help is the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk
to render it helpful to Thy people.
Grant that they who use it in faith
and with it inscribe upon the doors of their homes
the names of Thy saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar,
may through their merits and intercession
enjoy health of body and protection of soul.
Through Christ our Lord.
And the chalk is sprinkled with Holy Water.

Do note there are the special prayers/blessings in Latin that your EF priest/parish will use from the Rituale Romanum 1962 (see the link below), and for sure you can count on those blessings! So do to try to go to an EF priest/parish for those items (Epiphany Holy Water and the Chalk) if possible. However, do not hesitate if all you can get is Novus Ordo chalk/holy water and blessings from Novus Ordo priests.

By the way, a note on the Epiphany Holy Water. This is likely difficult to obtain and you may have to settle for regular holy water. This special type of Holy Water needs to be blessed the eve before the Epiphany and has its own special blessing/prayers. See here -

Regardless, have fun and make this a Catholic Tradition your family will uphold every year. If Christ blesses me with marriage and a family, I will certainly want to do this. Pax, Julian. 

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