On the twelfth day of Christmastide, January 6th, the church celebrates the ancient Solemnity of Epiphany, although in the United States the Solemnity is transferred to the weekend. We commemorate the visit of the kings to Jesus thus this is a moment of revelation to the Gentiles.
Over the next three days I will share pictures I took two years ago of the Cologne cathedral which houses the relics of the kings, as well as hymns that are associated with this solemnity.
Arise, Jerusalem, and look to the East
and see your children gathered from the rising to the setting of the sun.
The reliquary of the three kings, in the Cologne Cathedral.
May the splendor of your majesty, O Lord, we pray,
shed its light upon our hearts,
that we may pass through the shadows of this world
and reach the brightness of our eternal home.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
From the Facebook page of Musei Italiani. This fresco is from the Oratory of San Pellegrino in Abruzzo, Italy.
Today we celebrate the third companions of Christ, the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem who involuntarily shed their blood for the incarnate Lord.
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
s he refused to be consoled,
because they were no more.” ~Matthew 2:16-18
From the Church of the Visitation.
Today may we affirm the beauty and dignity of human life from the first moment of conception to natural death.