Laudetur Iesus Christus! Today January 5 is the vigil of the Epiphany, and tomorrow January 6 is the great feast of Epiphany. As liturgist Dom Prosper Gueranger notes, Epiphany is one of the cardinal feasts of the Church; it retains its own season, and like Easter and Pentecost, it has several Sundays named after it and its own octave. Gueranger also notes there are 3 mysteries of Christ celebrated on this day:
The mystery of the Epiphany brings upon us three magnificent rays of the Sun of Justice, our Saviour. In the calendar of pagan Rome, this Sixth day of January was devoted to the celebration of a triple triumph of Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire: but when Jesus, our Prince of peace, whose empire knows no limits, had secured victory to his Church by the blood of the Martyrs, then did this his Church decree that a triple triumph of the Immortal King should be substituted, in the Christian Calendar, for those other three triumphs which had been won by the adopted son of Cæsar.
The Sixth of January, therefore, restored the celebration of our Lord’s Birth to the Twenty-Fifth of December; but in return, there were united in the one same Epiphany three manifestations of Jesus’ glory: the mystery of the Magi coming from the East, under the guidance of a star, and adoring the Infant of Bethlehem as the divine King; the mystery of the Baptism of Christ, who, whilst standing in the waters of the Jordan, was proclaimed by the Eternal Father as Son of God; and thirdly, the mystery of the divine power of this same Jesus, when he changed the water into wine at the marriage-feast of Cana.
Epiphany Mass & Blessing Schedule
Each Charlotte TLM parish has its own Epiphany blessing protocols for today/this weekend. Please read carefully today:
- St. Ann: BLESSING CANCELLED PER PARISH.
- St. Thomas Aquinas: 7pm Latin Mass tonight. There will not be a public Epiphany blessing. Rather Father will bless water, chalk, and salt privately, and the parish will distribute Epiphany “kits” with these three items over the weekend in the narthex.
Thursday January 5 – Vigil of the Epiphany
- St. Ann parish has cancelled their blessing due to unforseen circumstances
- 7pm Latin Mass, St. Thomas Aquinas parish, (No Epiphany blessing – Epiphany water, chalk and salt to be handed out at parish from January 6-8 while quantities last, see parish website for details)
- 7pm, (Blessing only – No Mass), Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC – Epiphany Lessons and Carols, followed by blessing of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and Epiphany holy water
Friday January 6 – Feast of the Epiphany
- 12:30pm Latin Mass – St. Mark (St. Ann has cancelled their 7am Latin Mass for Friday January 6)
- 3:30pm, Our Lady of the Lake, Chapin, SC (2 hours south of Charlotte) – blessing of Epiphany water, chalk, and salt after Mass
- 6:00pm, Church of the Epiphany*, 163 Galax Lane, Blowing Rock, NC (operated by St. Elizabeth of the Hill Country in Boone, 2 hours northwest of Charlotte)
- 6:30pm, St. John the Baptist, Tryon, (2 hours west of Charlotte)
- 7pm – Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro (1.5 hours north of Charlotte)
- 7pm – Prince of Peace, Taylors, SC (2 hours southwest of Charlotte)
Saturday January 7, 10am – St. Thomas Aquinas, Feria or First Saturday (blessing of religious objects after Mass in the narthex)
Importance of Epiphany Water
As noted in prior years, the blessing of Epiphany water is available only in the traditional rite (in the Latin Church) and is a more powerful form of holy water as it contains a prayer of exorcism, and the litany of the saints as part of the blessing. This holy water, blessed only during this time of year, so please take advantage of the blessing – especially as we do not know what 2023 holds, spiritually speaking. Additionally, Fisheaters has a link to the customs surrounding today’s feast day: https://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmas8.html
Don’t Stop Celebrating Christmas: After Christmas Day, Christmas
Lastly, the Christmas season continues until February 2nd – and we encourage our readers to learn how to keep the embers of the Christmas season burning for the next few weeks by reading this excellent 2019 article by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski: https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/dont-stop-celebrating-after-christmas-day-christmas-continues-2