Did you know that the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January, known in the English speaking world as the Twelfth Night of Christmas, is actually far older than Christmas itself, and for centuries was celebrated with eight days, an Octave, of feasting afterwards? The Epiphany comes from a Greek word meaning manifestation and actually commemorates three manifestations of the Divinity of Christ: when the Wise Men give gifts fit for a king and a deity to the Christ Child, when Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan and the Father from heaven confirms His divine sonship; and the first miracle of Jesus at the Wedding at Cana. There are numerous customs of Catholic culture associated with Epiphany, and this year at Prince of Peace, we are going to celebrate as many as we can both in our parish church and in your domestic church.
2 January – Sunday: the Transferred Solemnity of the Epiphany in the Ordinary Form
8a Low Mass in English
10a The Proclamation of the Movable Feasts of the Year of Our Lord 2022 and Solemn Mass of the Epiphany in English
2 January – Sunday: the Feast of the Holy Name in the Extraordinary Form
12N Low Mass in Latin
5 January – Wednesday: the Vigil of the Epiphany
12N Low Mass EF in Latin
6 January – Thursday: the Traditional Feast of the Epiphany in the Extraordinary Form
6.30p Solemn Blessing of Epiphany Water, Chalk, Gold – Frankincense – Myrrh
7p Solemn High Mass of the Epiphany
8p Royal Procession to the Epiphany Crib and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament
8 January – Saturday
6p Blessing of the Great Nativity and Prosecco Toast for Donors
6p Epiphany Party & Potluck Dinner for Our Parish Family
On the Feast of the Epiphany in the Domestic Church you are invited to do the following:
- Take home blessed chalk which will be available in the narthex from 2-6 January and mark the door of your house with 20 + C + M + B + 22. The year of the Incarnation of Our Lord is accompanied by the initials CMB. In Latin, they stand for two things: Christus mansionem benedicat – May Christ bless this home, as well as the traditional names of the Three Kings, whose relics are in Cologne Cathedral in Germany: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.
On the Traditional Feast of the Epiphany, 6 January, we encourage you to come to the evening liturgy and bring with you the following to be blessed by placing them on the table provided in the sanctuary within the Communion rail:
- Containers of water and salt – Chalk – Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
- Please mark your names on each item and pick them after the Royal Procession to the Epiphany Crib the same night.
- You can actually buy little coffrets of gold, frankincense and myrrh here.
In Catholic cultures, it was common for the parish priest and the altar servers to go to door in the parish boundaries with blessed Epiphany Water during the Octave of the Epiphany and bless every house in the parish. Because of the size of our territory and the number of parishioners who live outside the territory, that is impossible at Prince of Peace, but you may bring home the water you have blessed at church, mix the salt into it, and sprinkle the inside and outside of your homes and workplaces.
The Eastern Catholic Traditions
To learn more about these amazing Epiphany customs, please read the following: