Catholic Diocese of Dallas

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Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord - January 6th

Publish date: Saturday, January 5, 2013

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The Epiphany is a feast of light. "Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you" (Is 60:1). With these words of the prophet Isaiah, the Church describes the content of the feast. He who is the true light, and by whom we too are made to be light, has indeed come into the world. He gives us the power to become children of God (cf. Jn 1:9,12). The journey of the wise men from the East is, for the liturgy, just the beginning of a great procession that continues throughout history. With the Magi, humanity’s pilgrimage to Jesus Christ begins – to the God who was born in a stable, who died on the Cross and who, having risen from the dead, remains with us always, until the consummation of the world (cf. Mt 28:20).

The Church reads this account from Matthew’s Gospel alongside the vision of the prophet Isaiah that we heard in the first reading: the journey of these men is just the beginning. Before them came the shepherds – simple souls, who dwelt closer to the God who became a child, and could more easily "go over" to him (Lk 2:15) and recognize him as Lord. But now the wise of this world are also coming. Great and small, kings and slaves, men of all cultures and all peoples are coming. The men from the East are the first, followed by many more throughout the centuries. After the great vision of Isaiah, the reading from the Letter to the Ephesians expresses the same idea in sober and simple terms: the Gentiles share the same heritage (cf. Eph3:6). Psalm 2 puts it like this: "I shall bequeath you the nations, put the ends of the earth in your possession" (v. 8).

The wise men from the East lead the way. They open up the path of the Gentiles to Christ.

-Pope Benedict XVI, Homily for Mass for the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 2012


 

Blessing of the Home and Household on Epiphany

When all have gathered, a suitable song may be sung. The leader makes the sign of the cross, and all reply, “Amen.”

The leader greets those present in the following words:

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

In the following or similar words, the leader prepares those present for the blessing:

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.

One of those present or the leader reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example, Luke 19:1-9:

Listen to the words of the holy Gospel according to Luke:
Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.> When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.”

The intercessions are then said:

Leader: The Son of God made his home among us. With thanks and praise let us call upon him.
R/. 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:
R/. 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 the homeless may obtain proper
housing.
We pray:
R/. Stay with us, Lord.
Leader:Lord Jesus Christ, the three kings presented their gifts to you in praise and adoration: grant that those living in this house may use their talents and abilities to your greater glory.
We pray:
R/. Stay with us, Lord.

After the intercessions the leader invites all present to say the Lord’s Prayer.
The leader says the prayer of blessing with hands joined:

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 concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying:

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

It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song, for example, “O Come, All Ye Faithful” or “We Three Kings.”

—From "Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers"




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