Epiphany Proclamation

The proclamation for this coming weekend (or, perhaps Monday) has popped up on a few sites I follow. A chant setting from PrayTell is here.

Given the ubiquity of calendars in places from church vestibules to walls to phones, I wonder if the announcing of dates retains importance. I believe the tradition originates about fifteen centuries ago. So it’s not apostolic.

What many believers seem to lack these days is not literacy but discipleship. I’d propose some modest additions to the text:

Dear brothers and sisters,
the glory of the Lord has shone upon us,
and shall ever be manifest among us,
until the day of his return.

Through the rhythms of times and seasons
let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.
Let us recall the Christian year’s culmination,
the Easter Triduum of the Lord:
his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial,
and his rising celebrated
between the evening of the Ninth of April
and the evening of the Eleventh of April,
Easter Sunday being on the Twelfth day of April.

Each Easter — as on each Sunday —
the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed
by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death.
From Easter are reckoned important days we keep holy.

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent,
initiating a season of purification and enlightenment
will occur on the Twenty-sixth day of February.
The Ascension of the Lord
when we were given the Great Commission
will be commemorated on
Sunday, the Twenty-fourth day of May
(or Thursday, the Twenty-first day of May).
Pentecost, joyful conclusion of the season of Easter,
commencement of our preaching Christ to the whole world
will be celebrated on the Thirty-first day of May.

The liturgical year concludes the day prior
the First Sunday of Advent,
the Twenty-ninth day of November,
though our task to spread and live the Gospel of Christ
will continue as the coming years pass.

Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the passover of Christ
in the feasts of the holy Mother of God,
in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints,
and in the commemoration of the faithful departed.
To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come,
Lord of time and history,
be endless praise, for ever and ever.

The original was on the Creighton Liturgy website and my additions are blue. I’m in doubt about the preachiness of it. But there’s something preachy as well with the listing of calendar dates parishioners are getting with their free calendars in narthexes the world over.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Epiphany Proclamation

  1. Liam says:

    A blessed New Year!

    Another way to think of it practically in terms of its origin was a way to alert common people to times when they would be relieved of certain duties of labor. At least before early modern states began to whittle those away. Epiphany marked the end of the great pause of field and slaughter labor (obviously, milking dairy animals never ceased, nor did emergency repairs or house labors for employers), with plowing season following on its heels in areas that were not under freeze or snow. (One of the oddities of the old liturgical calendar was that Christmas had a 3rd ranked octave, but all of its days were days of precept and thus a relief for the hardest labors for many.) Telling people when the moveable feasts were was a way to give them their vacation calendar, in an anachronistic sense. (Generally, the hardest labor of the year would be the grain harvests – rye, oats, barley and wheat – of the first half of summer in the temperate zones of European Christendom – preceded by the typical time of hardest dearth in late winter and early spring.)

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