The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord
January 5, 2020 Cycle A
White priestly vestments symbolize purity and integrity of the life of faith.

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Liturgical Year Cycle 2019-2020

                                             Introductory Acts Of Worship

The Entrance Prayers:
   On Sunday, usually a hymn praising God is sung in place of reciting a Psalm from the Bible which invites us to enter more deeply into the mystery of God's love for us.  The recited weekday Psalm expresses a youthful heart and spirit, delighted that we may come before the living God.

Entrance Song / Entrance Psalm (Antiphon)
Entrance Song
Malachi 3:1;1 1 Chronicles 29:12  B
ehold, the Lord, the Mighty One, has come; and kingship is in his grasp, and power and dominion.

The Priest Approaches and Kisses the Altar:  The altar is a symbol of Christ.  In it are cut five crosses to recall the five wounds of Christ.  The altar also represents the Church and has embedded in it the relics of her saints.  The priest comes to the altar to celebrate the Sacrifice in the Church's name.  Because of the glory surrounding the altar upon which the divine Sacrifice will be made, the kiss of the priest unites the Church to Christ, its Redeemer.

Priest:   In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All:  
Amen.

The Greeting:  We are welcomed in God's name.  Our response unites us to our neighbor, to the priest and to God.  (The priest may select from several forms of greeting).

Priest:  
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  
All:   
And with your spirit.


The Penitential Prayers:  We recognize our guilt for past sins, express our sorrow for them, and ask that Mary, the angels, the saints, and our brothers and sisters in Christ pray for the Lord God's mercy.  (The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:   My brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Priest:   Have mercy on us, O Lord.
All:  F
or we have sinned against you.
Priest:   Show us, O Lord, your mercy.
All:   And grant us your salvation

The Absolution:

Priest:    May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.
All:   Amen.

The Gloria:  The Glory of God prayers have existed from the second century.  They repeat the angels praise of God which heralded the birth of Christ on earth.  Our praise is lifted again through the years as we rejoice at His coming as Lord, God, the most high Jesus Christ, who at Christmas took on our human nature while at the same time being the son of Man. This ancient hymn expresses our recognition of God's glory and love.  It calls upon Christ as our holy and divine mediator, and the Holy Spirit who forever binds us together in God's love.

Priest and All:   Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.  Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thinks, we praise you for your glory.  Lord Jesus Christ, only son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.  For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

The Collect:    The priest lifts the united prayers and petitions of the congregation to God the Father through the merits of Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.

Priest:   Let us pray.
Priest:   O God, who on this day revealed your Only Begotten Son to the nations by the guidance of a star, grant in your mercy that we, who know you already by faith, may be brought to behold the beauty of your sublime glory.  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.

                                           Liturgy of the Word

Christ is made known to us through the Old Testament which prepares us to recognize Him.  In those days, God inspired men who spoke His message.  Now, the New Testament Gospel reading announces His presence to us directly through His Son.  Both readings bring God's message to us.  Our responsibility is to respond.

The First Reading:  From the Old Testament

Priest/Reader:  
A reading from the prophet Isaiah.

First Reading:  Isaiah 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem!  Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.  See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines, and over you appears his glory.  Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.  Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.  Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; all from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the Lord.

Priest/Reader:   The Word of the Lord.
All:   T
hanks be to God.


The Responsorial Psalm:  This Psalm praising God, is a prayer to God, or recommends the practice of virtue.  It is sung as an interlude between the scriptural readings.  It provides yet another instructional setting and invites the assembly to imitate the cantor who sings a repeated response to the verses of an ancient Psalm many of which are attributed to King David.  The verses are sung first by a cantor (song leader) accompanied by instruments, the refrain is sung by the people. 


Psalm 72:11; 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13

Cantor:   Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
All:    R/.  L
ord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Cantor:   O
God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king's son; he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment.
All:    R/.  L
ord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Cantor:   J
ustice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more.  May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
All:    R/.  L
ord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Cantor:   The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts; the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.  All kings shall pay him homage, all nations shall serve him.
All:    R/.  Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Cantor:   For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.  He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.
All:    R/.  Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

The Second Reading:  Taken from the New Testament, often from a letter written by St. Paul.

Priest/Reader:    A Reading from the letter of Paul to the Ephesians. 

Second Reading:   Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6

Br
others and sisters: You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for your benefit, namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.  It was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

The Alleluia:  An ancient expression of joy anticipating the Lord's message we will hear in the Gospel.

Matthew 2:2

Cantor:    Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
All:  R/.    A
lleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!
Cantor:   We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.
All:  R/.    Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

The Gospel:  The Liturgy of the Word is completed by the reading of the Gospel.  Before its reading, the members of the assembly trace the sign of the cross upon the forehead to indicate their mental acceptance of the Truth, on the lips to indicate their readiness to announce it, and over the heart to indicate their sincere desire to accept it into their lives.  The "Good News" of the Gospel tells that God's kingdom has come for all to hear, accept, and announce to the world for its salvation.  It is God who is speaking to us.  Christ comes to teach us by the example of His life and by His own words.

Priest:   C
leanse my heart and my lips, almighty God, that I may worthily proclaim your holy Gospel.      Through the words of the Gospel may our sins be wiped away.

Priest:   T
he Lord be with you.
All:     A
nd also with you.
Priest/Deacon:   A
reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.
All:     G
lory to you, Lord.

The Gospel:   Matthew 2:1-12

Matthew wrote to show that Christ was the
Messiah and fulfilled the Jewish prophecies.

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?  We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”  When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:  And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child.  When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”  After their audience with the king they set out.  And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.  They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.  They prostrated themselves and did him homage.  Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Priest/Deacon:   The Gospel of the Lord.
All:    P
raise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

The Priest's Sermon:    The priest develops, explains, and comments upon the Master's words, so our minds may be
enlightened, and our hearts enriched.

(A priestly reflection upon this Gospel)

Profession of Faith:     We state in the Nicene Creed the principles of our faith in precise and definite terms.

All:   I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.  I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.  God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.  For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.  For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.  I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.  I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.  Amen.

General Intercessions:   We pray for the needs of the pope, civic leaders, our own needs, those of others, the sick, the dying, those who have died, the church, and the world.  The response of all to each intercession:  Lord, hear our prayer.

All:   Lord, hear our prayer.

                  The Liturgy of the Eucharist

Gifts of bread and wine symbolizing ourselves are presented to the priest who will offer them to God the Father.  Through the Holy Spirit, they will become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ whom we receive in Holy Communion.  Jesus unites Himself with us for our spiritual nourishment and strength.  Today, when individuals do not present their own personal offerings of bread and wine, the monetary contribution symbolizes the material of their united sacrifice.  The priest makes and offering of the bread and wine to God.

Preparation of the Bread and Wine:

Priest:   Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the bread we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life. 
All:    Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:
    By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.

Priest:   Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you; fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink.
All:
    Blessed be God for ever.

Priest:    With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day be pleasing to you, Lord God.

The Priest's Hands are Washed: This act was traditionally necessary because the priest handled the various gifts presented by the people.  Now, the cleansing act using water reminds the priest and ourselves of the need to cleanse not only the hands but the soul.  Soon, the priest's hands will hold the actual body of Christ, and we will become His dwelling place.   

Priest:    Wash me O Lord, from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
               Pray, brethren, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father.

All:   May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all his holy Church.

Prayer over the Gifts:  Speaking in our name, the priest asks the Father to accept the gifts we offer through him.

Priest:   Look with favor, Lord, we pray, on these gifts of your Church, in which are offered now not gold or frankincense or myrrh, but he who by them is proclaimed, sacrificed and received, Jesus Christ.  Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Eucharistic Prayer:   (Number Four: The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:    The Lord be with you.
All:     And with your spirit. 

Priest:
    Lift up your hearts.
All:     We lift them up to the Lord.

Priest:    Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
All:      It is right and just. 

Preface Prayer:

Priest:  

It is truly right to give you thanks, truly just to give you glory, Father most holy, for you are the one God living and true, existing before all ages and abiding for all eternity, dwelling in unapproachable light; yet you, who alone are good, the source of life, have made all that is, so that you might fill your creatures with blessings and bring joy to many of them by the glory of your light.

And so, in your presence are countless hosts of Angels, who serve you day and night and, gazing upon the glory of your face, glorify you without ceasing.

With them we, too, confess your name in exultation, giving voice to every creature under heaven, as we acclaim:

Acclamation:

Priest and All:   Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of hosts.  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Priest:   We give you praise, Father most holy, for you are great and you have fashioned all your works in wisdom and in love.  You formed man in your own image and entrusted the whole world to his care, so that in serving you alone, the Creator, he might have dominion over all creatures.  And when through disobedience he had lost your friendship, you did not abandon him to the domain of death.  For you came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find you.  Time and again you offered them covenants and through the prophets taught them to look forward to salvation.

And you so loved the world, Father most holy, that in the fullness of time you sent your Only Begotten Son to be our Savior.  Made incarnate by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, he shared our human nature in all things but sin.  To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners, freedom, and to the sorrowful of heart, joy.  To accomplish your plan, he gave himself up to death, and, rising from the dead, he destroyed death and restored life. 

And that we might live no longer for ourselves but for him who died and rose again for us, he sent the Holy Spirit from you, Father, as the first fruits for those who believe, so that, bringing to perfection his work in the world, he might sanctify creation to the full.

Priest:  Therefore, O Lord, we pray: may this same Holy Spirit graciously sanctify these offerings, that they may become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the celebration of this great mystery, which he himself left us as an eternal covenant.

The priest repeats the words which Christ used at his Last Supper when He changed the bread into His Body and the wine into His Blood.  His Body and Blood are truly present but under the appearance of bread and wine.  The death of Christ is prolonged in each of those who receive Him worthily.  We apply His death to ourselves so that we may share His glory.  This moment is the most solemn on earth because it is Divine act which enables us to apply to ourselves the Cross which Christ willingly took upon Himself. 

We are called to die to sin and lift our very selves to God so that we become changed; to do as God would have us do, to become what God would have us become.  Our own little cross can lift us into union with Christ's Cross so we may earn the joys of everlasting happiness with God the Father. 

The Lord's
 Supper:  F
or when the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, Father most holy, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end: and while they were at supper, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you and eat of it: this is my Body which will be given up for you.

In a similar way, taking the chalice filled with the fruit of the vine, he gave thanks, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:

Take this, all of you, and drink from it; for this is the chalice of my Blood, the Blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.

Memorial Acclamation: (The priest may select from several forms). 

Priest:    The mystery of faith.
Priest / All:   We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.

Memorial Prayer:  (The priest may select from several forms).

Priest:  
Recalls Christ's Passion, Resurrection, Ascension, the Church, the dead, and ourselves.
T
herefore, O Lord, as we celebrate the memorial of our redemption, we remember Christ's Death and his descent to the realm of the dead, we proclaim his resurrection and his Ascension to your right hand, and, as we await his coming in glory, we offer you his Body and Blood, the sacrifice acceptable to you which brings salvation to the whole world.

Look, O Lord, upon the Sacrifice which you yourself have provided for your Church, and grant in your loving kindness to all who partake of this one Bread and one Chalice that, gathered into one body by the Holy Spirit, they may truly become a living sacrifice in Christ to the praise of your glory.

Therefore, Lord, remember now all for whom we offer this sacrifice: especially your servant _____ our Pope, _____ our Bishop, and the whole Order of Bishops, all the clergy, those who take part in this offering, those gathered here before you, your entire people, and all who seek you with a sincere heart.  Remember also those who have died in the peace of your Christ and all the dead, whose faith you alone have known.

To all of us, your children, grant, O merciful Father, that we may enter into a heavenly inheritance with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, her Spouse, and with your Apostles and Saints in your kingdom. 

There, with the whole of creation, freed from the corruption of sin and death, may we glorify you through Christ our Lord, through whom you bestow on the world all that is good.

Doxology:                  
Prayer of Praise:  
Through him, with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever.
All:   Amen.      
                               Communion Rite

In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we symbolically offer ourselves to the Lord through the gifts of bread and wine.  At the Consecration, we offer our very lives to be united the God the Father through the Cross of Christ.  In Communion, we find that we have not died at all, but have come to life.  We have surrendered ourselves to God through His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.  In return become ennobled and enriched.  We give up time and we get eternity, we give up our sin and we receive grace, we surrender our self-will and receive the strength of the Divine Will, we give up ourselves and we receive everything.  For the Son of God says to us that unless we receive Him we shall not have Divine life in us.  But it is not really we who receive Christ as it is Christ who receives us, bringing us into Himself.

God makes His Cross the very means of our salvation and our life.  While we have crucified Him, His eternal love cannot be extinguished.  Christ willed to give us the very life we crucified in our Redemption, the Consecration of Holy Thursday into Communion, His death into our everlasting life.

The Lord's Prayer:

Priest:  At the Savior's command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:
Priest and All:   Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Priest:  Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

All:  For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Prayer for Peace:

Priest:  Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will.  Who live and reign for ever and ever.
All:   A
men.

Priest:  The peace of the Lord be with you always.
All:   A
nd with your spirit.
Priest:   L
et us offer each other the sign of peace.

Breaking of the Bread:

Priest:   May this mingling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.

Priest and All:  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                           L
amb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
                           Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace.

Communion of the Priest:

Priestly Preparation:   May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to judgment and condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy.
All:   A
men.

Priest:   Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.

Priest and All:   
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

Priest:   May the Body of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.
              May the Blood of Christ keep me safe for eternal life.

Communion Antiphon
Psalm Matthew 2:2
We have seen his star in the East, and have come with gifts to adore the Lord.


Communion of the Faithful:

Priest:   The Body of Christ.    
The Faithful:   
Amen.

Priest/Deacon/
Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister:
  The Blood of Christ.
The Faithful:   Amen.



Cleansing of the Vessels:

Priest:   What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.

Prayer after Communion:

Priest:   Let us pray.
Priest:   Go before us with heavenly light, O Lord, always and everywhere, that we may perceive with clear sight and erevere with true affection the mystery in which you have willed us to participate.  Through Christ our Lord.
All:     Amen.

Concluding Rite

Priest:   The Lord be with you.
All:     And with your spirit. 
Priest:   Bow down for the blessing.

Dismissal Prayer:  (The priest may select from several forms)

Priest:  May God, the source and origin of all blessing, grant you grace, pour out his blessing in abundance, and keep you safe from harm throughout the year.
All:  Amen.

Priest:  M
ay he give you integrity in the faith, endurance in hope, and perseverance in charity with holy patience to the end.
All:   A
men.

Final Blessing
 

Priest:  And may the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, come down on you and remain with you for ever.
All:   Amen.

Priest:   Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.    
All:   Thanks be to God.

 
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. 
  
  Save us from the fires of hell. 

  Lead all souls to heaven,

  especially those in most need of your mercy. 
 

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Liturgical Year Cycle 2019-2020