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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Earlier Start Time

Candlemas at St. Stephen's on Sunday, 2/2/2014, will begin 15 minutes earlier, at 9:15am, to allow sufficient time for the distributions of candles and the procession inside the church. Those attending at St. Stephen's should make note of the following:

The Faithful are to approach the altar rail, kneel and kiss the hand of the celebrant when receiving a candle from him. 
After receiving the candles, the Faithful do not retreat to the pews, but stay in the area in front of the first pew. Each candle will be lit here by the ushers, and then all will join in the procession behind the celebrant. The candles are extinguished after the procession.
The ushers will re-light the candles just before the singing of the Gospel. After the Gospel, the candles are extinguished.
Again, the ushers will re-light the candles during the Offertory. These remain lighted all through the Canon of the Mass and during the reception of Holy Communion. After the Faithful have received Holy Communion, when the gate of the Communion Rail is re-opened, the candles may be extinguished.  

The above are directives for those attending at St. Stephen's. Things may be different at other parishes.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Epiphany

St. Stephen and Immaculate Conception Cleveland will both offer Solemn Mass for the traditional celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany, Jan 6, at 6:30pm.

The Epiphany: a necessary sequel to the Nativity. After celebrating but lately the day on which immaculate virginity brought forth the Saviour of mankind, the venerable feast of the Epiphany, dearly beloved, gives us continuance of joy, that the force of our exultation and the fervour of our faith may not grow cool, in the midst of neighbouring and kindred mysteries. For it concerns all men's salvation, that the infancy of the Mediator between God and men was already manifested to the whole world, while He was still detained in the tiny town. For although He had chosen the Israelitish nation, and one family out of that nation, from whom to assume the nature of all mankind, yet He was unwilling that the early days of His birth should be concealed within the narrow limits of His mother's home: but desired to be soon recognized by all, seeing that He deigned to be born for all...  --Pope St. Leo the Great

Catholics have a wonderful tradition of taking home chalk which was blessed on the Feast of the Epiphany and writing the initials of the three Wise Men, separated by Crosses,above the front door on the inside. Then writing the year, breaking up the numbers and the year so that they fall on both sides of the initials. It should look like this:

20  C+M+B  14

"20" is the millennium and century, the "C" stands for the first Wise Man, Caspar, the "M" stands for Melchior, the "B" stands for Balthasar, and the "14" stands for the decade and year. Tradition has it that the initials also stand for "Christus mansionem benedicat" ("Christ bless this house").

On entering the home,
Leader (Priest, if present, or father of the family): Peace be to this house.
All: And to all who dwell herein.
All: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.
All Pray: The Magnificat. During the Magnificat, the room is sprinkled with holy water and incensed. After this is completed,
All: From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord; and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts: gold for the great King, incense for the true God, and myrrh in symbol of His burial.
Leader: Our Father. . . And lead us not into temptation
All: But deliver us from evil.
Leader: All they from Saba shall come
All: Bringing gold and frankincense.
Leader: O Lord, hear my prayer.
All: And let my cry come to You.
Leader: Let us pray. O God, who by the guidance of a star didst on this day manifest Thine only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we who know Thee by faith may also attain the vision of Thy glorious majesty. Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
Leader: Be enlightened, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee—Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary.
All: And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light and kings in the splendor of thy rising, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.
Leader: Let us pray. Bless, O Lord God almighty, this home, that in it there may be health, purity, the strength of victory, humility, goodness and mercy, the fulfillment of Thy law, the thanksgiving to God the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. And may this blessing remain upon this home and upon all who dwell herein. Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.