06Jan

Feast of the Epiphany

Today is the feast of Christ’s Epiphany. I shall be in the local Catholic Primary school this morning to offer Mass and so the usual 10am Mass at St. Anselm’s has been cancelled. Don’t forget that, this being a major feast, Friday abstinence is put aside and you are free to eat meat and be merry! My children were delighted to be given a chocolate with their breakfast this morning.

This coming Sunday we will celebrate the Epiphany in Church and the ancient customs associated with the feast will be observed; the feasts of the year will be pronounced from the pulpit and blessed chalk will be distributed, with which the faithful can mark their homes. We will also travel to the crib during the final hymn to note the arrival of the magi to replace the homebound shepherds.

A very happy Epiphany to all readers of the blog.

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14 thoughts on “Feast of the Epiphany

  1. Thank you Fr Ed! You’ve answered my question as I wasn’t sure if we were allowed meat today or not! Due to ongoing ill health, I will be unable to get to Mass on Sunday. If my daughter isn’t at Mass either, please could you or someone else save me a piece of blessed chalk? Many thanks.

  2. A happy feast day to you. However, I was under the impression that the law of abstinence still applies due to the feast being transferred to Sunday. Is this not correct?

    1. Ah – you are probably right – that it depends when it is kept. Hadn’t thought of that- I do so hate these transferred feasts- why can’t we heel them on the day. But as I am keeping both…I shall have to give myself dispensation!!

      1. I take the view that, regardless of the date of the Mass of celebration, the actual feast day is 6 January. I’ve seen nothing to disabuse me of that opinion. I nothe that the Vatican celebrated the feast today (6 Jan.) – Happy New Year to all.

      2. Yes, the transferred feasts are tedious. Why can’t they simply be kept on the correct days? I suppose one could always have Lobster Thermidor or something like that!

  3. Yes Pat, you are correct there the Vatican did celebrate Epiphany yesterday because I watched the Mass live! Oh Fr Ed, I hope you have me dispensation too!

    1. I have seen some suggestions that the religious celebrations for the major feasts should be changed away from the current commercial spend-fests. It would need multi-denominational agreement etc. Then there would be the commercial outcry but we should not be too swayed by that. I know that the Chatholic Church has said that it is willing to have a fixed Easter date but in agreement with the other churches.

  4. It’s the national Episcopal Conference, with the agreement of the Vatican, that decides whether certain feasts should be transferred or kept on the original date. Generally speaking, in traditional Catholic countries such as Italy, feasts tend to be kept on the original dates, as they often are observed as public holidays. One exception is Spain, which decided by agreement of the state and the church some years ago to transfer many feasts to the nearest Sunday in order to reduce the number of public holidays for reasons of national economy. In England and Wales, solemnities which aren’t at the same time Holidays of Obligation are typically transferred, such as Epiphany and Ascension. This leaves Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints’ Day and Christmas being kept on original dates.

    1. ……and obedience to the Magisterium is one of the affirmations we made when being admitted into the full communion of the Catholic Church. (The other being an acceptance of teaching of the Church as set out in the Catechism.) The Ordinaraite is part of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and so bound by its rulings. Where ‘Anglican Patrimony’ – often a euphemism for ‘what I want to do because I like doing it despite what I should do’ – conflicts with authority, then perhaps it should submit to authority in humility.

      1. The Ordinariate isn’t part of the diocesan structure in England and Wales, but is directly subject to the Holy See through the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). Of course we are meant to act co-operatively and harmoniously with the dioceses, and our ordinary is ex-officio and voting member of the Bishops’ Conference. While we obey legitimate authority and try to act in a friendly manner with the dioceses, we are given certain power to act independently (by the Pope!) to reflect our patrimony and distinctiveness, which is to be celebrated.

        1. Quite. There would be no point to the Ordinariate if we simply got with the programme in the diocese and did what all others are doing. The entire point was to retain gifts and celebrate them and help to re-evangelise the church.

          1. Then why, in the case of Epiphany, does the Ordinarate Ordo transfer the Feast to the Sunday instead of keeping the ‘patrimonial date’ of 6th?

  5. While we are on the topic of dates of feasts, It is worth remembering that some Eastern Catholic Churches have always celebrated Christmas on the same date as some Orthodox Churches.

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