On this Feast of the Epiphany ( a somewhat ‘confusing’ Feast – since it was moved by our all-knowing Bishops -coming so shortly after Christmas!) I would like to remind you of a Feast formerly held on this day, and now optional, though I am not sure many parishes celebrate it outside those who observe the Traditional Rites. Another blog – Forest Murmers (Father Michael Brown)very recently spoke about the ‘forgotten’ anniversaries of our Church, and asked the intriguing question “do we lack confidence in our Catholic identity?” I leave the answer to that to you, dear reader.
Today the Church celebrates the optional memorial of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite this feast is celebrated on January 2. In the liturgical revisions of Vatican II, the feast was removed, though a votive Mass to the Holy Name of Jesus had been retained for devotional use. With the release of the revised Roman Missal in March 2002, the feast was restored as an optional memorial in the Ordinary Form on January 3.
The Church reveals to us the wonders of the Incarnate Word by singing the glories of His name. The name of Jesus means Saviour; it had been shown in a dream to Joseph together with its meaning and to Our Lady at the annunciation by the Archangel Gabriel.
Devotion to the Holy Name is deeply rooted in the Sacred Scriptures, especially in the Acts of the Apostles. It was promoted in a special manner by St. Bernard, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. John Capistrano and by the Franciscan Order. It was extended to the whole Church in 1727 during the pontificate of Innocent XIII. The month of January has traditionally been dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus.
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus which is kept on the First Sunday in the year; but if this Sunday falls on January 1, 6, or 7, the feast is kept on January 2.