THE LITURGICAL YEAR

Sermons, hymns, meditations and other musings to guide our annual pilgrim's progress through the liturgical year.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

THE SINLESS ONE TO JORDAN CAME

A HYMN FOR THE OCTAVE DAY OF EPIPHANY


By G.B. Timms, 1975

The sinless one to Jordan came
To share our fallen nature's blame;
God's righteousness he thus fulfilled
And chose the path his Father willed.

Uprising from the waters there,
The voice from heaven did witness bear
That he, the Son of God, had come
To lead his scattered people home.

Above him see the heavenly Dove,
The sign of God the Father's love,
Now by the Holy Spirit shed
Upon the Son's anointed head.

How blest that mission then begun
To heal and save a race undone;
Straight to the wilderness he goes
To wrestle with his people's foes.

Dear Lord, let those baptized from sin
Go forth with thee, a world to win,
And send the Holy Spirit's power
To shield them in temptation's hour.

On thee shall all thy people feed
And know thou art the Bread indeed,
Who gives eternal life to those
That with thee died, and with thee rose.

A TRIPLE CELEBRATION

A MESSAGE FOR THE OCTAVE DAY OF EPIPHANY


On the Feast of the Epiphany, the antiphon at Vespers announces to us the triple nature of the feast: “Now do we celebrate * a festival in honour of three days when Christ was made manifest: the day whereon a star led the Wise Men to the manger; the day whereon water was turned to wine at the wedding feast; the day whereon Christ was pleased to be baptized of John in Jordan that he might save us, alleluia.”

The word Epiphany signifies “manifestation”, and of course refers to the fact that not only was born at Christmas, but was also manifested, revealed, to the world. This manifestation took place in three steps, all of which are celebrated during Epiphanytide. The first manifestation is the one most commonly associated with the Feast of Epiphany, and refers to the visit of the Three Wise Men, pagans all, who traveled from their faraway countries, following a star and the promise of a newborn King who would save all men, not just the chosen Jewish nation, from their wickedness.

On the Octave Day of the Epiphany, our Lord's cousin, St. John the Baptist, brings to our attention another later manifestation in the form of our Lord’s Baptism. This great forerunner of the Messiah had been chosen to prepare the way of the Lord so that the people would recognize their Saviour when he came. St. John the Baptist wished to make it perfectly clear that Christ was this Saviour, and pointed him out to the multitudes, saying “Behold the Lamb of God, behold him that taketh away the sins of the world!” His words were echoed by no less than God the Father in heaven, whose voice was heard confirming the Baptist's declaration: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

The third manifestation of Christ’s coming was made at the wedding feast of Cana, when our Lord performed his first miracle at the request of his blessed Mother. With this miracle, his divinity was confirmed to the people, and our Lord’s public ministry began. We celebrate this miracle next week on the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

A TRIPLE CROWN

A MESSAGE FOR THE EPIPHANY


Three wise men followed a star and made their way to Bethlehem.  There, the three kings knelt before the newborn King of Kings, and each one gave him a gift—gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Pope St. Gregory the Great expounded on the symbolism of these gifts, and we are familiar with their imagery: “By the gifts which they presented unto him, the wise men set forth three things concerning him unto whom they offered them: by the gold, that he was King; by the frankincense, that he was God; and by the myrrh, that he was mortal man.”

Christ was born God and man.  But we must remember too that he was born a king—indeed, the King of Kings—so it was fitting that three kings should be present at his Nativity to kneel before him and do him homage.  Their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh not only show us the three aspects of royalty, divinity and humanity, but represent also the extent of the infant King’s authority over heaven as God, and over the earth as Man. The gifts of the three kings at Bethlehem can be seen, therefore, as the three crowns of Christ the King, and are the reason for the large number of images and statues that depict Christ the King wearing a triple tiara.

In these latter days, the enemies of the Church have intensified their attacks against Christ our King: “The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed” (Ps. 2). Since the French Revolution, they have attempted to substitute the triple masonic ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity in place of the triple crown of Christ the King.  Their undying opposition to the reign of Christ eventually reached within the very bosom of Holy Mother Church—at Vatican II, the Council Fathers adopted the triple motto of freemasonry, and placed it within thte Council documents, hiding liberty, equality and fraternity under the guise of religious liberty, collegiality and ecumenism.  Their efforts may seem clumsily self-evident , yet they were effective in changing the nature of the whole Church establishment.


As for the Lord’s anointed representative on earth, the alleged successor of Peter to whom Christ’s authority on earth was bestowed, Paul VI was the last to be crowned with the triple tiara, or any other crown.  Why was it so important to abolish this symbol of the papacy?  The triple crown symbolized the very attributes of the papacy that the modernists were so anxious to replace with their liberty, equality and fraternity.  At the moment of the pope’s coronation, the following words are solemnly pronounced in Latin: “Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know that thou art father of princes and kings, ruler of the world, vicar on earth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, to whom be honour and glory for ever and ever.”  The royalty, humanity and divinity of Christ are all clearly referenced in this admonition, and the divine right of the Pope and his authority over all mankind are unambiguously described.  What horror and contempt the modernists must have had for a symbol that so perfectly encapsulated the opposite of what they sought. 

And so, after his own coronation, Paul VI symbolically ratified the three masonic ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity by abolishing the pope’s triple tiara.  It has not been used since.  There is no room from crowns in this brave new post-concilar and democratic world where all men are supposedly created forever equal. The papal tiara, the Triregnum, has been replaced with a simple miter, symbolizing the reduction of his role to that of “first among equals.”  Paul VI then proceeded to abolish the Holy Apostolic Mass.