From Our Pastor: The Epiphany of the Lord
This weekend is a big weekend for solemnities! Mary the Mother of God on Saturday morning, and the Epiphany of the Lord on Sunday. Mary the Mother of God is usually a Holy Day of Obligation, but because of it falling on a Saturday, it is not this year. That doesn’t mean it isn’t praiseworthy, and a great thing to attend Mass on that day anyway. This is the day we remember Mary by her oldest title, “Mother of God,” or “Theotokos” in the Greek. This tells us who Mary is, but it really tells us much about who her son is. As in all things Marian, she always points us to her son.
Speaking of Marian, during the Advent and Christmas seasons all the way up to the presentation of the Lord on February 2, the Marian chant for the Church is Alma Redemptoris Mater. The Adoremus Catholic Bulletin states: “This prayer tells of Gabriel’s announcement, and of Mary’s divine motherhood. The text is credited to Herimann the Lame, a monk of Reichenau (1013-1054). Herimann’s Latinized name was Hermanus Contractus, and he is sometimes also credited with the chant melody.”
The prayer is:
“Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli porta manes et stella maris, succurre cadenti, surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti, natura mirante, tuum sanctum genitorem, Virgo prius, ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore sumens illud ave, peccatorum miser ere.”
“Loving mother of the Redeemer, gate of heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again, To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before, You who received Gabriel’s joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners.”
The Epiphany in the USA is moved to Sunday. The rest of world celebrates this feast always on January 6. On this day, we commemorate the three wise men, or kings, or Magi bringing their gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. These gifts tell us who Jesus is. He is King. He is God. He is Sacrifice. Even from the moment of His birth, His death and resurrection are in view. Listen to the words closely of ALL the verses of We Three Kings. They tell us the story of the Epiphany. May Christ’s revelation to the world be a revelation to your heart.
-Rev. Steven Arisman