Saturday, January 7, 2012

The week after Epiphany...

c15th book of hours,
Jesus among the doctors

Holy Family or First Sunday after Epiphany?

In the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, this Sunday is titled the feast of the Holy Family, and the Monastic Diurnal includes the texts for that feast in the supplement section at the back.  In the universal Benedictine Calendar, however, the Office for Sunday is actually that of the First Sunday after Epiphany.

The Gospel is the same either way: the finding of the child Jesus in the Temple with the doctors.

The reason for this oddity in names is that the Feast of the Holy Family is quite recent - it was instituted in 1893 - and was never picked up by the Benedictines.  The Gospel though, creates provides a bridge between the Adoration of the Nativity and the Baptism of Our Lord on January 13, which marked the end of the old Octave of the Epiphany.

You can read more on this in my post from last year on the subject.

Epiphanytide and the Commemoration of Our Lord's Baptism (Friday, January 13)

This week we are in epiphanytide, which uses texts that are the remnants of the old Octave.

The major feast of this week, the commemoration of Our Lord's baptism marks the formal end of Christmastide (of which epiphanytide is a part) in the liturgical calendar, and a move into 'time throughout the year'.

Saints in the calendar this week

This week's saints in the Benedictine Calendar are:
Another great saint, whose feast is included this week (January 12) in the calendar of the English Congregation, is St Benet Biscop, a great saint for the traditionally inclined, who played a key role in the preservation of Western civilization in the 'dark ages'.

As a monk he had a reputation as being pious, ascetic, learned and holy. He is particularly honoured as the founder of the twin monasteries of Wearmouth whose Church still stands and Jarrow, where he was St Bede the Venerable's first abbot.

But his particular interest is the way his fascinating career illustrates the cross-fertilization of cultural currents at the time, and his work in importing books and skills to England where they were preserved and re-exported back to the Continent a century later.  Do go and read my full post on him.

Ordinary Form calendar

In the Ordinary Form, the Benedictine calendar this week includes the optional memorial of St Gregory of Nyssa (January 10).

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