Carissimi: Sunday’s Mass; Feast of the Most Holy Family

FEAST OF THE MOST HOLY FAMILY commemoration of the Sunday in the Octave of the FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD with commemoration of the Octave: Missa “Exsúltat gáudio”

It is the Kingship of the divine Infant that the Church again proclaims in the opening Canticle of the Mass for the Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany. She sings the praises of her Emmanuel’s Throne, and takes her part with the Angels who hymn the glory of Jesus’ eternal Empire. Let us do the same, and adore the King of Ages, in his Epiphany.

From twelve years old, a Jew was bound each year to keep the three feasts of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. In the liturgy for Christmas-tide the whole of our Lord’s childhood is put before us and to-day we see Him in the Temple, where for the first time, He shows the Jews that God is His “Father” (Gospel).

“It was by no accident,” says St. Ambrose, “that this Child who, even according to the flesh, was full of wisdom and grace of God, forgetting His human parents should wish to be found after three days in the Temple. By this He intimated that three days after the triumph of His Passion, He who was believed to be dead should rise again and so offer Himself as the object of our faith, seated on a heavenly throne in heavenly glory. The truth is, that in His case, there is a two-fold birth: the one by which He is begotten of the Father, the other by which He is born of a mother. The first is wholly divine; by the second He humbles Himself to take our nature” (3rd. Noct.). This “Man sitting upon a High throne whom a multitude of angels adore singing together” (Introit) is, therefore, that Divine Child who is shown to us in to-day’s Gospel. “Sitting in the midst of the doctors who” were astonished at His wisdom and answers. Moreover since, “as God hath delivered to everyone the measure of Faith”, (Epistle) Christian souls form but “one body in Christ” (Epistle), they ought to be penetrated with the wisdom of Him who far from “conforming himself to the maxims of this world,” reforms “and rules human life according to the will of God” (Epistle).

“Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” said the young boy Jesus. This wholly supernatural wisdom whose guiding principles exceed, without destroying those of the natural order, is beyond our unaided powers. While seeking to curb our flesh by the mortification which such wisdom enjoins, sacrificing at times, even the most lawful affection, in pursuance of a divine call which draws children from their parents’ side, the plans of almighty God must needs remain for us hidden mysteries to be accepted without being completely understood. “They understood not the word that He spoke unto them” (Gospel). Following Mary who “kept all these words in her heart”, (Gospel) let us meditate on the sublimity of Jesus’ words and actions in the Temple. Like this Child whose whole life at Nazareth is summed up in the one word “subjection” (Gospel), let us grow in wisdom so that always we may “perceive what we ought to do,” and in strength “to fulfil the same” (Collect).

INTROIT Prov 23:24-25

The father of the Just will exult with glee; let Your father and mother have joy; let her who bore You exult. Ps 83:2-3 How lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

COLLECT

O Lord Jesus Christ, You Who while subject to Mary and Joseph, hallowed family life with virtues beyond description, grant us by their combined intercession, that, having been taught by the example of the Holy Family, we may attain unto their everlasting companionship. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. R. Amen

Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany
We beseech Thee, O Lord, hear of Thy heavenly goodness the prayers of Thy suppliant people: that they may both perceive what things they ought to do, and also may have power to fulfill the same.

Feria in the Octave of the Epiphany
O God, You Who by the guidance of a star this day revealed Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; mercifully grant that we who know You now by faith, may come to behold You in glory. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

EPISTLE Col 3:12-17

Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Colossians. Brethren: Put on, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience. Bear with one another and forgive one another, if anyone has a grievance against any other; even as the Lord has forgiven you, so also do you forgive. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts; unto that peace, indeed, you were called in one body. Show yourselves thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly: in all wisdom teach and admonish one another by psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing in your hearts to God by His grace. Whatever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Ps. 26:4

One thing I ask of the Lord; this I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. V. Ps 83:5 Happy they who dwell in Your house. O Lord! continually they praise You. Alleluia, alleluia. Isa 45:15 V. Truly You are a hidden God, the God of Israel, the Saviour. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Luke 2. 42-52

When Jesus was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast, and having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents knew it not. And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day’s journey, and sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintences. And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass that after three days they found Him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. And all that heard Him were astonished at His wisdom and His answers. And seeing Him they wondered. And His Mother said to Him: Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said to them: how is it that you sought Me Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And he went down with them and come to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His Mother kept all these words in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace with God and men.

OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Luke 2. 22.

Sing joyfully to God, all the earth: serve ye the Lord with gladness: come in before His presence with exceeding great joy: for the Lord He is God.

SECRET

In appeasement, O Lord, we offer You this sacrifice, humbly praying that through the intercession of the virgin Mother of God, and that of St. Joseph, You will establish our households in Your peace and grace. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany
O Lord, may the Sacrifice we offer up to Thee ever quicken and protect us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

Commemoration of the Octave of the Epiphany
O Lord, look favourably upon the gifts of Your Church, which are no longer gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but, as these gifts signify, our offering is Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord, Who is now sacrifice and food. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

PREFACE of the Epiphany

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: for when Thine only-begotten Son was manifested in the substance of our mortal flesh, with the new light of His own Immortality He restored us. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY…

Communicating, and keeping this most holy day on which Thine only-begotten Son, who is coeternal with Thee in Thy glory, showed Himself in true flesh and with a visible body like unto us; and also reverencing the memory first of the same glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also of the blessed Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, and Thaddeus; Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may in all things be defended by the help of Thy protection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

COMMUNION ANTIPHON Luke 2. 48, 49

Son, why hast Thou done so to us? I and Thy father have sought Thee sorrowing. How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?

POSTCOMMUNION

Grant, Lord Jesus, that those whom You refresh with the heavenly sacrament may ever imitate the example of Your Holy Family, so that at the hour of our death, with the glorious Virgin Mary and St. Joseph welcoming us, we may be found worthy to be received into Your everlasting home. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. R. Amen

Sunday within the Octave of the Epiphany
O almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee, that Thou wouldst grant to those whom Thou dost refresh with Thy Sacraments that they may serve Thee worthily by a manner of life pleasing to Thee. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

Commemoration of the Feria in the Epiphany Octave
Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that, by the understanding of our minds made pure, we may grasp what we celebrate by these solemn rites. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen

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