Saturday, January 7, 2012

Finally Epiphany!

I've heard it said that earlier in the Church's history, the feast of the Epiphany was considered a greater feast than Christmas. Certainly in the Divine Office you see some odd hints that this feast is packed with significance far beyond the mere event of the magi.  Sometimes it's worthwhile to flip through all the liturgical hours of a day, reading just the antiphons, to see what kind of "theme" they turn up.  Doing this for Epiphany give you lots of Light, glory,revelation, splendor, and mysteries revealed. The antiphons for Benedictus and the Magnificat are nearly identical, and make the odd statement that today's feast celebrates three different events: the revelation of Christ to the Magi, the Baptism of Our Lord, and the miracle at Cana.  

So there's a topic for your meditation this weekend: comparing these three mysteries of light and revelation. 

And pay special attention to the New Testament canticle for Evening Prayer I, because you don't see it very often. In fact, there is only one other day in the entire year when this canticle is used. 
Now that's a great Divine Office trivia question: what day besides the Epiphany will we see I Timothy 3:16 as a canticle? 

Let's see which smarty-pants  can answer that first in the comments.  

Here's the Canticle

R. Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Christ manifested in the flesh,
Christ justified in the Spirit.
R.Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Christ contemplated by the angels,
Christ proclaimed by the pagans.
R.Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Christ who is believed in the world,
Christ exalted in glory.
R. Praise the Lord, all you nations.