Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!
The Feast of Epiphany is among my favorite days of the liturgical year. On the EWTN website, I read a wonderful article by Fr. Alban Butler. Here is an excerpt I hope you enjoy:
The holy men, with an unshaken and steady faith, and in transports of spiritual joy, entered the poor cottage, rendered more glorious by this birth than the most sumptuous stately palace in the universe, and finding the Child with His mother, they prostrate themselves, they adore him, they pour forth their souls in his presence in the deepest sentiments of praise, thanksgiving, and a total sacrifice of themselves. So far from being shocked at the poverty of the place, and at his unkingly appearance, their faith rises and gathers strength on the sight of obstacles which, humanly speaking, should extinguish it. It captivates their understanding; it penetrates these curtains of poverty, infancy, weakness, and abjection; it casts them on their faces, as unworthy to look up to this star, this God of Jacob; they confess him under this disguise to be the only and eternal God: they own the excess of his goodness in becoming man, and the excess of human misery which requires for its relief so great a humiliation of the Lord of glory. St. Leo thus extols their faith and devotion: “When a star had conducted them to adore Jesus they did not find him commanding devils, or raising the dead, or restoring sight to the blind, or speech to the dumb, or employed in any divine actions; but a silent babe, under the care of a solicitous mother, giving no sign of power, but exhibiting a miracle of humility.”
Each year on the Feast of the Epiphany, following our monastic tradition, the house is blessed. We were excited to have Fr. Anselm with us this year for the blessing. He is a Dominican priest and scholastic – so the Latin prayers of blessing were beautifully chanted and enunciated! Thank You, Fr. Anselm. Each room has its own prayer of blessing – from the choir to the enclosure door, from the corridors to the cells, from the kitchen to refectory. As Father sprinkles the house with holy water, the Sisters scurry about placing the Epiphany blessing on the lintel of each doorway: 20+C+M+B+11. The blessing concludes in the Chapel, with the recitation of the following prayer. It is a good meditation on the courage and generosity of the Magi and a petition for a share in the same:
teach me to serve you as I should,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and ask not for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your most holy will.