Epiphany–the Twelfth Day of Christmas–is today. The Catholic Church in this country celebrates it on the nearest Sunday, and thus celebrated it this past Sunday this year; but the real Epiphany is today.
Novena To Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Courtesy of EWTN. Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Let us pray
[on this day of Ascension
as we watch and wait for Jesus’ return]
Father in heaven,
our minds were prepared
for the coming of your kingdom
when you took Christ beyond our sight
so that we might seek him in glory.
May we follow where he has led
and find our hope in his glory,
for he is Lord forever.
(Courtesy of here)
Properly, this is Ascension Thursday. Alas, in many American dioceses (including mine), the celebration has been moved to the following Sunday. Nevertheless, I’m posting the chant and prayer on the real day.
Exsúltet iam angélica turba cælórum:
exsúltent divína mystéria: et pro tanti Regis victória tuba ínsonet salutáris.
Gáudeat et tellus, tantis irradiáta fulgóribus: et ætérni Regis splendóre illustráta, tótius orbis se séntiat amisísse calíginem. Lætétur et mater Ecclésia, tanti lúminis adornáta fulgóribus: et magnis populórum vócibus hæc aula resúltet.
[Quaprópter astántes vos, fratres caríssimi,
ad tam miram huius sancti lúminis claritátem,
una mecum, quæso,
Dei omnipoténtis misericórdiam invocáte.
Ut, qui me non meis méritis
intra Levitárum númerum dignátus est aggregáre,
lúminis sui claritátem infúndens,
cérei huius laudem implére perfíciat.]
[V/ Dóminus vobíscum.
R/ Et cum spíritu tuo.]
V/ Sursum corda.
R/ Habémus ad Dóminum.
V/ Grátias agámus Dómino Deo nostro.
R/ Dignum et iustum est.
re dignum et iustum est, invisíbilem Deum Patrem omnipoténtem
Filiúmque eius unigénitum,
Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum,
toto cordis ac mentis afféctu et vocis ministério personáre.Qui pro nobis ætérno Patri Adæ débitum solvit, et véteris piáculi cautiónem pio cruóre detérsit.Hæc sunt enim festa paschália,
in quibus verus ille Agnus occíditur,
cuius sánguine postes fidélium consecrántur.Hæc nox est, in qua primum patres nostros, fílios Israel edúctos de Ægypto, Mare Rubrum sicco vestígio transíre fecísti.Hæc ígitur nox est,
quæ peccatórum ténebras colúmnæ illuminatióne purgávit.Hæc nox est, quæ hódie per univérsum mundum in Christo credéntes, a vítiis sæculi et calígine peccatórum segregátos,
reddit grátiæ, sóciat sanctitáti.
Hæc nox est,
in qua, destrúctis vínculis mortis,
Christus ab ínferis victor ascéndit.Nihil enim nobis nasci prófuit, nisi rédimi profuísset.
O mira circa nos tuæ pietátis dignátio!
O inæstimábilis diléctio caritátis:
ut servum redímeres, Fílium tradidísti!O certe necessárium Adæ peccátum,
quod Christi morte delétum est!
O felix culpa,
quæ talem ac tantum méruit habére Redemptórem!O vere beáta nox,
quæ sola méruit scire tempus et horam,
in qua Christus ab ínferis resurréxit!Hæc nox est, de qua scriptum est:
Et nox sicut dies illuminábitur:
et nox illuminátio mea in delíciis meis.
Huius ígitur sanctificátio noctis fugat scélera, culpas lavat:
et reddit innocéntiam lapsis
et mæstis lætítiam.
Fugat ódia, concórdiam parat
et curvat impéria.O vere beáta nox,
in qua terrénis cæléstia, humánis divína iungúntur!In huius ígitur noctis grátia, súscipe, sancte Pater, laudis huius sacrifícium vespertínum, quod tibi in hac cérei oblatióne solémni,
per ministrórum manus de opéribus apum, sacrosáncta reddit Ecclésia.Sed iam colúmnæ huius præcónia nóvimus, quam in honórem Dei rútilans ignis accéndit. Qui, lícet sit divísus in partes, mutuáti tamen lúminis detrimenta non novit.Alitur enim liquántibus ceris, quas in substántiam pretiósæ huius lámpadis
apis mater edúxit.
Orámus ergo te, Dómine,
ut céreus iste in honórem tui nóminis consecrátus,
ad noctis huius calíginem destruéndam,
Et in odórem suavitátis accéptus,
supérnis lumináribus misceátur.Flammas eius lúcifer matutínus invéniat:
ille, inquam, Lúcifer, qui nescit occásum.
Christus Fílius tuus,
qui, regréssus ab ínferis, humáno géneri serénus illúxit,
et vivit et regnat in sæcula sæculórum.R/ Amen.
Exult, let them exult, the hosts of heaven,exult, let Angel ministers of God exult,let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King’s triumph! Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her,ablaze with light from her eternal King,let all corners of the earth be glad,knowing an end to gloom and darkness.Rejoice, let Mother Church also rejoice,arrayed with the lightning of his glory,let this holy building shake with joy,filled with the mighty voices of the peoples.
(Therefore, dearest friends, standing in the awesome glory of this holy light, invoke with me, I ask you, the mercy of God almighty, that he, who has been pleased to number me, though unworthy, among the Levites, may pour into me his light unshadowed, that I may sing this candle’s perfect praises).(V. The Lord be with you.R. And with your spirit.)V. Lift up your hearts.R. We lift them up to the Lord.V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.R. It is right and just.
It is truly right and just, with ardent love of mind and heartand with devoted service of our voice,to acclaim our God invisible, the almighty Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord, his Son, his Only Begotten.Who for our sake paid Adam’s debt to the eternal Father, and, pouring out his own dear Blood, wiped clean the record of our ancient sinfulness.These, then, are the feasts of Passover, in which is slain the Lamb, the one true Lamb, whose Blood anoints the doorposts of believers.This is the night, when once you led our forebears, Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.This is the night that with a pillar of fire banished the darkness of sin.
This is the night that even now, throughout the world, sets Christian believers apart from worldly vices and from the gloom of sin, leading them to grace and joining them to his holy ones.
This is the night, when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld.Our birth would have been no gain, had we not been redeemed.O wonder of your humble care for us!O love, O charity beyond all telling, to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!O truly blessed night, worthy alone to know the time and hour when Christ rose from the underworld!
This is the night of which it is written: The night shall be as bright as day, dazzling is the night for me, and full of gladness.
The sanctifying power of this night dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners, drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.On this, your night of grace, O holy Father, accept this candle, a solemn offering, the work of bees and of your servants’ hands, an evening sacrifice of praise, this gift from your most holy Church.But now we know the praises of this pillar, which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor, a fire into many flames divided, yet never dimmed by sharing of its light, for it is fed by melting wax, drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious.O truly blessed night, when things of heaven are wed to those of earth, and divine to the human.
Therefore, O Lord,we pray you that this candle, hallowed to the honor of your name, may persevere undimmed, to overcome the darkness of this night.Receive it as a pleasing fragrance, and let it mingle with the lights of heaven.May this flame be found still burning by the Morning Star: the one Morning Star who never sets, Christ your Son, who, coming back from death’s domain, has shed his peaceful light on humanity, and lives and reigns for ever and ever.R. Amen.
The following are a Gregorian Chant and a Latin Mass for the Feast of the Annunciation, which is today.
St. Thomas Aquinas’s Prayer for Scholars, courtesy of here:
You who are the true source of life and wisdom and the Principle on which everything depends, be so kind as to infuse in my obscure intelligence a ray of your splendor that may take away the darkness of sin and ignorance.
Grant me keenness of understanding, ability to remember, measure and easiness of learning, discernment of what I read, rich grace with words.
Grant me strength to begin well my studies; guide me along the path of my efforts; give them a happy ending.
You who are true God and true Man, Jesus my Savior, who lives and reigns forever.
I own a copy of the icon above. Below is a video of my favorite of the many chants he composed, Tantum Ergo, used at the end of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, just before Benediction. Enjoy it on this, his feast day.
In American diocese, the Catholic Church has moved the feat of Epiphany (the traditional Twelfth Day of Christmas) from its correct location on 6 January to the nearest preceding weekend. Thus, it was celebrated yesterday in Catholic parishes across the country. I’ve always been an opponent of moving Holy Days of Obligation to Sundays in the (almost always vain) hope that it will get people more engaged. In any case, these chants (one for each of the Magi!) are going up on the real date for Epiphany. Enjoy!
Today is not only New Year’s Day, but in the Catholic Church it is a Holy Day of Obligation, the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Above are a Gregorian and a Byzantine chant in her honor.
Ave, Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesu. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. (The Hail Mary in Latin)
Ἄξιόν ἐστιν ὡς ἀληθῶς, μακαρίζειν σε τὴν Θεοτόκον, τὴν ἀειμακάριστον καὶ παναμώμητον καὶ μητέρα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν. Τὴν τιμιωτέραν τῶν Χερουβεὶμ καὶ ἐνδοξοτέραν ἀσυγκρίτως τῶν Σεραφείμ, τὴν ἀδιαφθόρως Θεὸν Λόγον τεκοῦσαν, τὴν ὄντως Θεοτόκον, σὲ μεγαλύνομεν.
(“It is truly meet to bless you, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, without defilement you gave birth to God the Word. True Theotokos we magnify you!”–“Axion Estin”, a traditional Byzantine hymn to Mary)
Note: These are not translations of the chants, but prayers I’ve put here in honor of the day.
Eternal rest grant them, O Lord. Also be mindful of the survivors.