Looking Back on Baptism of the Lord

Liam sent me the link on what your parish should have been celebrating yesterday if it observed Epiphany this past Sunday.

Here’s a riff on that theme …

Many feasts of the Lord lend their names to parishes: Nativity, Transfiguration, Sacred Heart, Corpus Christi, Christ the King, etc.. Have you ever wondered by some feasts do not inspire such patronage? Baptism of the Lord strikes me as one of these.

The celebration of the Baptism of the Lord has been given a place of honor through the reform of the General Roman Calendar, which has assigned it to the Sunday after Epiphany. This is meant to facilitate observance of the feast by the whole Christian community gathered together on that Sunday, since in the history of salvation and in the liturgical year this feast has highly important doctrinal, pastoral, and ecumenical dimensions.

If this is true, I would expect more parishes dedicated to the Baptism of the Lord.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Looking Back on Baptism of the Lord

  1. Liam says:

    Theophany is better. And it has a specific theological meaning: because, while Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, was revealed to the nations at the Epiphany, the Triune God was revealed for the first time in Trinitarian form at the Jordan river.

    Church of The Theophany has a nice ring to it.

  2. Liam says:

    The other thing is that this is a relatively recent separate commemoration in the Roman rite, less than 100 years old, IIRC, and only elevated to the rank of feast after the Council. In the East, what we call the Epiphany is subsumed into the celebration of the Nativity. In the West, what the East calls the the Theophany was long subsumed into the Epiphany. Right now, the feast has a limited understanding in Roman liturgical use (the emphasis now being on the commencement of Christ’s public ministry), whereas the traditional patristic underscoring of the Trinitarian manifestation is still underdeveloped liturgically, probably because the West developed Trinity Sunday (in the East, Pentecost is a feast of the Trinity, not so much the Holy Spirit alone; thus, in the East, both Christmastide and Eastertide conclude with Trinitarian feasts).

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