The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ will be observed in a celebration of High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, New Haven, this Sunday, January 6, at 2:00 pm. The Reverend Jan Pikulsi will be the celebrant and the Reverend Matthew Dougherty, O.Praem., will be the homilist. The Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society will sing the Gregorian chants for the service.
On the feast of the Epiphany the Church celebrates the revelation of Our Lord to the whole world and the shining forth in all its splendour of the Incarnation. Christians commemorate a triple manifestation of Christ: first, to the Magi, that is, to the Gentiles; then His baptism, when the Voice of God from heaven declared: “This is My Beloved Son;” and finally, in the miracle of His changing the water into wine at Cana.
Saint Leo I saw in the three Kings who sought out the Christ Child a foreshadowing of the future, as they brought in their train all the peoples of the world to adore the newborn King of Kings. That is the meaning of Isaiah’s magnificent prophecy appointed for the Epistle and Gradual at Mass on the Epiphany: “All they from Saba shall come bringing gold and frankincense and showing forth praise to the Lord.”
Music for the liturgy to be sung by the Schola Cantorum of the Saint Gregory Society will include the Missa Cunctipotens Genitor Deus (Vatican edition IV) chant ordinary, the Gregorian proper for the Epiphany: “Ecce advenit;” the Hymns “Jesu Redemptor omnium” and “A solis ortus;” the organ music by Maurice Duruflé and Paul de Maleingreau.
The First Sunday of Advent will be observed in a celebration of High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street, New Haven, this Sunday, December, at 2:00 pm. The Rev. John Pikulski will be the celebrant, and the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society will sing the Gregorian chant for the service.
The Post-Communion collect from the First Sunday of Advent sums up the purpose of this liturgical season praying “… that we may prepare with due reverence for the coming festival of our redemption.” Providing all of her great feasts with preparatory periods, during Advent the Church prepares us for the twofold coming of Christ; His first coming when He took flesh, which will be commemorated at Christmas, and His second coming mentioned in the gospel reading when we “… shall see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with great power and majesty.”
While Advent does not require obligatory acts of penance, the Church’s liturgy suggests that penance and repentance are the best means of preparation for the coming of Christ. St. Paul admonishes us in the epistle reading to “… cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light …” that we may “… walk… not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy…” Furthermore, the penitential character of Advent is expressed liturgically through the use of violet vestments, the removal of flowers from the altar, the omission of the Gloria, the silence of the organ, etc. In fact, the liturgy during Advent is akin to Lent with the exception that the Alleluia is retained. Therefore, may we use this Advent season profitably in preparation not only for Christmas, but for the eschaton, i.e., the end of days and last things.”
Music for the liturgy to be sung by the Schola Cantorum of the Saint Gregory Society will include the Missa Orbis factor (Vatican edition XI) chant ordinary, the Gregorian proper for Advent Sunday: “Ad te levavi,” the hymn “Condite alme siderum” by Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474), and the Advent prose, “Rorate caeli desuper.”