Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sing we Yule til (Almost) Candlemas

We have put the lighted nativity of Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph back in storage (it's minimalist--no shepherds, Wise Men, angels, or barn animals), but are leaving our (artificial) Christmas Tree, lights, and other garland up until the end of January. Candlemas this year is on Monday (February 2) and the pre-Lenten Septuagesima season begins on Sunday, February 1, so it seems appropriate to take them all down on Saturday, January 31. Doesn't seem right to have the Christmas Tree and other decorations up when we are preparing for Lent! The lights of the tree are so festive during the usually cold and overcast days and early nights of January so we look forward to their glowing light in our living room.

As during the Advent and Christmas seasons, the commercial world is already preparing for St. Valentine's Day and Easter with candy and cards in the stores. With the Epiphany Season, as Blessed John Henry Newman reminded us, we are still celebrating the Incarnation and worshiping the newborn baby Jesus! This fifteenth century English Christmas carol modernized by William Henry Husk has an appropriate refrain:
Make we mirth
For Christ His Birth
And sing we Yule till Candlemas.
1. The first day of Yule we have in mind
How man was born all of our kind,
For He would the bonds unbind
    Of all our sin and wickedness.
2. The second day we sing of Stephen
That stoned was, and said up even
With Christ there he would stand in heaven,
    And crowned was for his prowess.
3. The third day 'longs to St. John,
That was Christ's darling, dearest one,
To whom He took, when He should gone,
    His dear mother for his cleanness.
4. The fourth day of the Children young
With Herod's wrath to death were throng,
Of Christ they cold not speak with tongue,
    But with their blood bare witness.
5. The fifth day hallowed St. Thomas,
Right as strong as pillar of brass,
Held up his church and slain was,
    For he stood fast in righteousness.
6. The eighty day took Jesu His name,
That saved mankind from sin and shame,
And circumcised was for no blame,
    But for example of meekness.
7. The twelfth day offered to Him Kings three,
Gold, myrrh, incense, these gifts free,
For God and man and king is He,
    And thus they worshipped his worthiness.
8. The fortieth day came Mary mild
Unto the Temple with her child,
To shew her clean that never was 'filed,
    And herewith ends Christmas.

One way to continue this celebration is suggested by the blogger at Silverstream Priory in Ireland: using the Rosary to meditate on the mysteries of Epiphany:

The Five Mysteries of the Epiphany correspond to the five great Epiphany Gospels given us by the Church (in the traditional calendar and Liturgy) on the day of the Epiphany, 6 January; on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, 13 January; and on the Second, Third, and Fourth Sundays after Epiphany. Each of these Gospels presents a particular manifestation of the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

1. Matthew 2:1-12, Our Lord makes himself known to the Magi by means of a star, and receives their adoration in Bethlehem.

And behold the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him. (Mt 2:9-11)

2. John 1:29-34 — At His Baptism in the Jordan by John, the Holy Ghost descends in the form of a dove, and the voice of the Father reveals Jesus as His Beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased.

Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also being baptized and praying, heaven was opened; And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape, as a dove upon him; and a voice came from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Lk 3:21-22)

3. John 2:1-11 — At the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee, Jesus, at His Mother’s bidding, changes water into wine.

And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. (Jn 2:3-5)

4. Matthew 8:1-13 — Jesus, with a word, cleanses a leper.

And behold a leper came and adored him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will, be thou made clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. (Mt 8:2-3)

5. Matthew 8:23-27 — Jesus calms the raging sea.

And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. (Mt 8:24-25)

No comments:

Post a Comment