The Epiphany of Our Lord!

Christmas Season 2022-2023: God is with us!

The Epiphany of Our Lord!

 

The word Epiphany is the English transliteration of the Greek word Epiphaneia, which means appearance, revelation, or manifestation. Originally, this feast, which is celebrated on January 6 marked the Birth of Jesus. It was not till the middle of the 4th C. that Christmas began to be celebrated on December 25. When that happened, the feast of the Epiphany changed focus to the Baptism of the Lord in the East and the visitation by the Magi in the West. 

Today, the churches of the West celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany as the culmination and the climax of the Incarnation Cycle.  On this day we celebrate the recognition of the baby born in Bethlehem as the Son of God.  After the shepherds, the Magi are the first to encounter Jesus and reveal him as the King of Kings

A cultural setback to the success of this feast is that the people experience Christmas day as the highlight of the season and once this day is passed, the season is over.  In liturgical terms, however, the season of Christmas begins on December 25 and culminates with the solemnity of the Epiphany.

 

What to do in the Domestic Church:

 

The traditional Epiphany Blessing and Chalking of the Door:

 

Epiphany is the time when people are invited to bless their homes and to chalk the door. This is done to remind ourselves that all of us belong to Christ, whether we are away or at home. It also invites us to be welcoming to all and to open our homes and hearts to all those who enter just as Christ did.

 

As part of this blessing the lintel above the front door is chalked with the following: 20 + C + M + B + 23. The 20 and 23 refer to the year 2023. The letters C M B are the initials of the names traditionally given the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They are also the first letters of the Latin words: Christus Mansionem Benedicat or May Christ bless this house.

 

 

The Blessing begins with someone using blessed chalk to write the traditional 20 + C + M + B + 23 on the lintel above the door.

 

Then everyone present enters the home and the leader begins with the sign of the cross. The leader then continues as follows:

 

Leader:                 Let us praise God, who fills our hearts and homes with peace.
Blessed be God forever.

All:                         Blessed be God forever.

 

Leader:                 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling place among us.

                              It is Christ who enlightens our hearts and homes with his love.

                              May all who enter this home find Christ’s light and love.

 

Leader:                The Son of God made his home among us.

                              With thanks and praise let us call upon him saying:
All:                        Stay with us, Lord.
 

Leader:                Lord Jesus Christ,

                              with Mary and Joseph, you formed the Holy Family:

                              remain in our home,

that we may know you as our guest and honor you as our Head.
We pray:

All:                        Stay with us, Lord.
 

Leader:                Lord Jesus Christ,

                              you had no place to lay your head,

                              but in the spirit of poverty accepted the hospitality of your friends:

                              grant that through our help

unhoused people may obtain proper housing.
We pray:

All:                        Stay with us, Lord.
 

Leader:                 Lord Jesus Christ,

                              the Magi presented their gifts to you in praise and adoration:

                              grant that those living in this house

may use their talents and abilities to your glory

and the betterment of society.
We pray:

All:                        Stay with us, Lord.
 

 

After the intercessions the leader invites all present to say the Lord’s Prayer.
 

Leader:                 Lord God of heaven and earth,
you revealed your only-begotten Son to every nation
by the guidance of a star.
Bless this house
and all who inhabit it.
Fill them (us) with the light of Christ,
that their (our) concern for others may reflect your love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen.

 

The leader then sprinkles the home with Holy Water.

 

Leader:                 May Christ Jesus dwell with us,
keep us from all harm,
and make us one in mind and heart,
now and forever.

All:                        Amen.

 

Everyone ends with the sign of the cross.

 

A Quick Glance at the Readings for the Solemnity of Epiphany of Our Lord for your personal reflection

 

From the First Reading: Isaiah 60: 1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!  Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.

 

From the Second Reading: Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6

the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

 

From the Gospel: Matthew 2: 1-12

They were overjoyed at seeing the star, 
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.

 

This Week at The Basilica of Saint Mary

 

Sunday Eucharist

We will have the usual schedule of Masses:

Saturday: 5:00pm

Sunday: 7:30am, 9:30am, 11:30am, 5:00pm

Please remember to pick up your home blessing kit after Mass.

 

Sunday Vespers:

On Sunday, January 8 at 3:00pm The Basilica Schola Cantorum will sing Vespers for the Solemnity of the Epiphany in The Basilica Choir Stalls.

 

We livestream Sunday Vespers.

 

The next Vespers will be on the first Sunday of Lent, February 26.

 

Monday de-greening of The Basilica:

Please join other members of our Basilica community as we transition The Basilica from Christmas to Ordinary Time. We will gather in The Basilica at 8:30am on Monday, January 9.

 

Weekday Eucharist

We celebrate Mass in the St. Joseph Chapel, Monday through Friday at 7:00am and at Noon. The noon Mass is livestreamed.

 

Morning Prayer:

On Thursday we gather in the Basilica Choir Stalls at 9:15am for the celebration of Morning Prayer. This is a simple but beautiful way to begin your day.

 

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

A priest is available in the St. Joseph Chapel for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation each Saturday between 9:00-10:00am. Please mark your calendars for

 

Exhibits

Please be sure to visit The Basilica’s principal Nativity behind the high altar as well as a selection of nativities from The Basilica collection which you can find in The Basilica as well as in the undercroft.

 

Concerts:

January 21, 2023, at 7:00pm: Luminous Night of the Soul will be performed by The Basilica cathedral Choir directed by Teri Larson, together with instrumentalists from St. Thomas University.

 

And please remember that Christmas is not a day but a season!

The world around us wants us to start celebrating Christmas too soon and wants us to stop celebrating too soon. The proper celebration of Christmas does not start until the Eve of December 24 and does not end till Baptism of the Lord. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I, for one will continue to enjoy my Christmas tree and many nativities at home and I will listen to Christmas Carols till January 9.

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