Electronic Prayer Book

Epiphany Morning

 
 
 

Part 1. From the Divine Office

 

 

Opening

 

O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth shall proclaim Your praise.

O God, come to my assistance,
O Lord, make haste to my help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Halleluia.

 

The Epiphany of Christ

” ‘Epiphany’ means ‘showing forth’ or ‘manifestation’.” In today’s feast we celebrate three phases of the historical manifestations of the Divine Word in human flesh.

1.To the Magi at Bethlehem, as King of our souls and bodies;

2.In the baptismal water of the Jordon, as eternal Son of God;

3.In the Cana miracle, as Ruler of all creation.

We conclude today the celebration of our Lord’s redemptive ‘partaking of our humanity’: the celebration which began with the feast of the Nativity and which is our unfailing reminder that, through the humility and love exercised by Jesus Christ, we are enabled to “become partakers of His divinity”.

The whole purpose of Christian worship is to unite us so closely with our Lord that we may be filled with His life and love and power, and that thereby we may be reunited, through the Son with His Father and ours. In the prayer (page 5), we voice our longing for this eternal union, begun here and now, to be brought to fruition hereafter in the beauty of the perfect manifestation of the Blessed and Adorable Trinity.

 

Acclamations For Reflection

Celebrating the prophecies of our Messiah’s coming, His birth, and His return at the end of time.

 
 
  • Bring your offerings to the Lord, you sons of God; adore the Lord in His holy court.
 
  • Sing praise to our God, sing praise; sing praise to our King, with wisdom sing praise.
 
  • Let all the earth adore You and sing to You: Let it sing a psalm to your name, O Lord.
 
 

From Psalm 21 [22]

 

The Triumph of the Messiah

 

 

I will declare your name to my brethren, in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.

“You who fear the Lord, praise him; all descendants of Jacob, glorify him: fear him, all descendants of Israel.

For he has not spurned nor disdained the suffering of the afflicted; neither did he hide his face from him and, when he cried to him, he heard him.”

You are the theme of my praise in the great assembly, my vows will I pay in the sight of those who fear him.

The poor shall eat and be satisfied, they who seek the Lord shall praise him: “May your hearts live forever,”

 

 

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord.; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him, for the kingdom is the Lord’s, and he rules the nations.

All who slumber in the earth will worship him alone, all who go down into the dust will bow before him.

But my soul shall live for him, and my descendants shall serve him, I will speak of the Lord to the coming generation, and they shall declare his justice to the people, yet to be born: “These things has the Lord done.”

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Reading — St. Matthew 2: 1 — 12

 

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold Magi came from the East to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him”. But when King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and so was all Jerusalem with him. And gathering together all the chief priests and Scribes of the people, he enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. And they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, ‘And you Bethlehem, of the land of Juda, are by no means least among the princes of Juda; for from you shall come forth a leader who shall rule my people Israel’ “. The Herod summoned the Magi secretly, and carefully ascertained from them the time when the star had appeared to them. And sending them to Bethlehem, he said, “Go and make careful inquiry concerning the Child, and when you have found Him, bring me word, that I too may go and worship Him”. Now they, having heard the king, went their way. And behold the star that they had seen in the East went before them, until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. And when they saw the star they rejoiced exceedingly. And entering the house, they found the Child with Mary His mother, and falling down, they worshipped Him. [Here genuflect]. And opening their treasures they offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went another way.

From St. Leo the Great

Rejoice in the Lord, my dearly beloved brethren: again I say, rejoice. For it is but a few days since the solemnity of the birth of Christ, and the world is already illumined by the feast of His manifestation. On this feast day the world acknowledges Him who was born of a Virgin on the former feast. The Word made flesh so ordained His manifestation that as a newborn Infant He would be known to believers, but hidden from persecutors. Already on Christmas the heavens were resplendent with the glory of God, and the sound of His truth went forth to all the earth when an army of Angels appeared to the shepherds as messengers of the newborn Saviour, and the guiding star began leading the Magi to adore Him. Then it was that the birth of a true King shone over the world, from the rising of the sun even to its setting. For, through the Magi both the East learned the truth of this great event, and the Roman Empire was not left in ignorance.

Herod, alarmed, sought to crush the life of the infant King; and, though he was unaware of it himself, his very cruelty was to be an instrument in the service of divine Providence. Pursuing his evil designs against the Child he knew not, he decreed the indiscriminate slaughter of infants; but his sacrilegious outrage merely served to make known to all the world the heaven-told tidings of the Saviour’s birth. Both by the depravity of this cruel oppressor and by the miraculous celestial light, men were the more impelled and emboldened to speak of what they had seen and heard. Then, moreover, the Saviour was borne into Egypt so thet by this secret grace those people who were so fastly bound to all manner of error and evil might receive their call to impending salvation. Thus it happened that, while yet steeped in the error of superstition, the Egyptians were able to play host to Him who is the truth.

Let us therefore acknowledge, beloved brethren, in the adoration of the Magi the first sign of our calling and of our faith; and let us celebrate with glad hearts the beginnings of our blessed hope. From now on we are moving into our eternal heritage; henceforth the passages of Scripture which concealed Christ lie open to us; and the truth which the Jews in the blindness of their hearts did not receive, casts its light on all nations. Let us fittingly honour this most sacred day on which the Author of our salvation appeared. He whom the Magi worshipped as an Infant in a crib we will adore as omnipotent King of heaven; and as from their treasury they gave mystical gifts to the Lord, so let us also from the treasury of our hearts offer gifts that are worthy of God.

 
 

Alternative Readings

 
Old Testament The Gospels Epistles of St. Paul Other Epistles
 
 

Hymn as a Prayer

     

Bethlehem, singularly favoured, greater than the great cities, it was your good fortune to bring to birth in human form the heaven-sent leader of salvation. And a star that in beauty and brightness outshone the sun, gives the news that God has come in earthly flesh for earth’s redemption.

 

When the Magi see Him, they bring out their gifts from the East and with reverent prostration offer Him incense, myrrh and royal gold. The treasure of gold and the sweet scented Sabaean incense disclose that He is King and God, and the powdery myrrh fortells His tomb. Glory be to You, Jesus, who showed Yourself to the nations; and glory be to the Father and the loving Spirit, through endless ages. Amen.

     

V. The voice of one crying in the desert: Make ready the way of the Lord.

R. Make straight His paths.

     
 
 

Zackary’s Hymn of Praise — St. Luke 1: 68 — 79

 

St. Luke records (Luke 1: 67) that the father of John the Baptist, eight days after the birth of his son, “filled with the Holy Spirit”, uttered this prophecy, which has remained a daily prayer for Christians.

 
 
 
Antiphon

This day the Church is joined to her heavenly Spouse, for Christ has cleansed away her crimes in the Jordon; with gifts the Magi hasten to the royal nuptials, and the guests are gladdened with wine made from water, Halleluia.

   
       

 

       

Blessed be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people,

And has raised up a horn # of salvation for us in the house of David his servant,

As he promised through the mouths of his holy ones the prophets from of old;

Salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all our foes

He has fulfilled his kindness to all our fathers and been mindful of his holy covenant

In the Oath to Abraham our father, by which he swore to grant us

That, delivered from the hands of our enemies, we should serve him without fear.

In holiness and justice before him all our days. —

 

And you, O child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

To give his people knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of their sins,

Because of the compassionate kindness of our God with which the Orient from on high will visit us,

To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

       
 

# “Horn of salvation.”

Horn refers originally to the power of an ox. It came to be applied to people and here, to the royal saving power of the messiah.

 
Antiphon

This day the Church is joined to her heavenly Spouse, for Christ has cleansed away her crimes in the Jordon; with gifts the Magi hasten to the royal nuptials, and the guests are gladdened with wine made from water, Halleluia.

 
 

The Lord’s Prayer

 
 

Traditional

Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Contemporary

Our Father, in heaven,
Hallowed be Your Name,
Your Kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.

Amen.

 

Prayer

 
 

O God, on this day, by the guiding star, You revealed Your Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; mercifully grant, that we who now know You by faith, may be led on even to look upon the beauty of Your Majesty. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

 

Closing

   
 

V. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

   

May the all powerful and merciful
Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
bless and preserve us.

Amen.

 

Part 2. Devotions During Christmastide | Part 3. The Angelus

Part 4. Prayers For Protection