Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Epiphany in the Ambrosian Rite

As I wrote in my previous post about the Vigil of Epiphany, Milan gloried for more than eight centuries in guarding the relics of the Three Kings, until Frederick Barbarossa's counsellor Bishop Reinhald of Dassel, Chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire, after the sack of the city in 1164, moved them to Cologne as a sign of humiliation to the defeated and rebel city, as well as a unique symbol of power and legitimation for the Emperor and King.

The relics had been previously kept in Constantinople, and presented to St. Eustorgius I, Bishop of Milan, in 343, by Emperor Constant I as a sign of the highest esteem and gratitude to him, upon his renunciation to the dignity of Governor of the city of Milan, to become its Bishop.
The relics had been carried to Constantinople by St.Helena, Emperor Constantine the Great's mother.

The heavy ark with the relics, which is still to be seen, with a XVIIIth century writing "Sepulcrum trium Magorum" on it, was carried to Milan on a waggon towed by oxen.
When they finally arrived close to the city walls of Milan, near the spot venerated as the place where St. Barnabas the Apostle begun the evangelization of the city, the waggon sunk into mud and it was impossible to move it again. This was considered a sign that the relics should remain there, where the Basilica of St. Eustorgio was later built.

St. Ambrose, who became Bishop of Milan about thirty years later, gave his sister St. Marcellina as a gift three bones from the right ring fingers of the Magi, which are still kept and much venerated in Brugherio, a town in the Diocese of Milan, in the parish where Federico Card. Borromeo translated them in 1613.

From a liturgical point of view, as I mentioned in my previous post, Epiphany is, after Easter, the most solemn feast of the Ambrosian Calendar.

As I did yesterday, I'm giving here a transcirption of the text for the Mass of the day, with an English translation.

In Festo Epiphaniæ Domini


Civitas non eget sole, neque luna, ut lúceant ei: quóniam cláritas Dei illúminat eam. Et ambulabunt gentes in lúmine ejus: et reges terræ ófferunt claritatem suam in ea. Apoc. 21.


The city hath no need of the sun, nor of the moon, to shine in it. For the glory of God hath enlightened it. And the nations shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into it.

Oratio super populum.

Deus, qui hunc diem electionis géntium primítiis consecrasti, et per lúminis tui stellam manifestum te nobis ostendisti, * tríbue, quæsumus: ut nova cælorum mirábilis cláritas in nostris semper córdibus oriatur. Qui vivis.

Prayer upon the People.

O God, Thou Who hallowed this day through the choice of the primeur of the gentiles, and manifested Thyself through the light of Thy star, vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, that a new admirable clarity may always rise in our hearts. Thou who livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Lectio Isaiæ Prophetæ. c. 60.

In diebus illis. Dixit Isaias: Surge, illuminare, Jerúsalem: quia venit lumen tuum, et glória Dómini super te orta est. Quia ecce ténebræ opérient terram, et calígo pópulos: super te autem orietur Dóminus, et glória ejus in te vidébitur.
Et ambulabunt gentes in lúmine tuo, et reges in splendore ortus tui. Leva in circúitu óculos tuos, et vide: omnes isti congregati sunt, venerunt tibi: fílii tui de longe vénient, et filiæ tuæ in látere surgent. Tunc videbis, et áfflues, et mirábitur, et dilatábitur cor tuum: quando conversa ad te fúerit multitudo maris, fortitudo géntium vénerit tibi. Inundátio camelorum, opérient te dromedárii Mádian, et Epha: omnes de Saba vénient, aurum et thus deferentes, et láudem Dómino annunciantes. Omne pecus Cedar congregábitur tibi, et aríetes Nábaioth ministrabunt tibi: offerentur super placábili altari meo, et domum majestatis meæ glorificabo. Dicit Dóminus omnipotens.

Reading of Isaiah the Prophet. ch. 60

On those days. Isaiah said: Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the earth, and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes round about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee: thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha: all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense: and shewing forth praise to the Lord. All the flocks of Cedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nabaioth shall minister to thee: they shall be offered upon my acceptable altar, and I will glorify the house of my majesty. Thus said God the Almighty.


Benedictus Dóminus Deus Ísrael, qui facit mirabília magna
solus in sécula.
V. I. Suscípiant montes pacem pópulo tuo.
V. II. Humiliabit calumniatorem, et permanebit cum sole, et ante lunam
generationis generationum. Et descendet sicut plúvia in vellus: et sicut
stillicídia stillántia super terram. Ps. 71.


Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who alone doth wonderful things.
V. Let the mountains receive peace for the people.
V. He shall humble the oppressor, and He shall continue with the sun and
before the moon, throughout all generations. He shall come down like rain
upon the fleece; and as showers falling gently upon the earth.

Epistola beati Pauli Apóstoli ad Titum. c. 2.

Caríssime. Appáruit grátia Dei Salvatoris ómnibus homínibus, erúdiens nos, ut abnegantes impietatam, et seculária desidéria, sóbrie, et juste, et pie vivamus in hoc século, expectantes beatam spem, et advéntum glóriæ magni Dei et Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi. Qui dedit semetipsum pro nobis, ut nos redímeret ab omni iniquitate, et emundaret sibi pópulum acceptábilem, sectatorem bonorum óperum. Hæc lóquere, et exhortare, et árgue cum omni império. Nemo te contemnat. Ádmone illos princípibus, et potestátibus súbditos esse, dicto obedire, ad omne opus bonum paratos esse: néminem blasphemare, non litigiosos esse, sed modestos: omnem ostendentes mansuetúdinem ad omnes hómines.

Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to Titus ch.2

My dearest. The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men: Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly and justly and godly in this world, Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Admonish them to be subject to princes and powers, to obey at a word, to be ready to every good work. To speak evil of no man, not to be litigious but gentle: shewing all mildness towards all men.

Hallelujah, hallelujah. V. Magi venerunt ab Oriente Jerosólymam, dicentes:
Ubi est qui natus est, rex Judæorum ? Hallelujah.
Matth. 2.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. There came wise men from the East to Jerusalem,
saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? Alleluia.
Matth. 2

Antiphona ante Evangelium.
recitanda in ipsomet cornu Evangelii.

In Béthlehem Judæ Salvator natus est. Herodes turbatus est: totus mundus
gaudet. Joannes testíficans super flumen Jordánis: Qui post me venit, ante
me factus est. Matth. 2. Joan. 1.

Antiphon before the Gospel.
To be said at the side of the Gospel.

In Bethlehem of Juda the Saviour was born. Herod is exceeding angry: the
whole world rejoyceth. John testifying upon the river Jordan: That Who
cometh after me, was before me.
Matth. 2 John 1

+ Léctio sancti Evangélii secundum Mattheum. c. 2.

In illo témpore. Cum natus esset Dóminus Jesus in Béthlehem Judæ in diebus Herodis regis, ecce Magi ab Oriente venerunt Jerosólymam, dicentes: Ubi est, qui natus est, rex Judæorum ? Vídimus enim stellam ejus in Oriente, et vénimus adorare eum. Áudiens autem Herodes rex turbatus est, et omnis Jerosólyma cum illo. Et cóngregans omnes príncipes sacerdotum, et scribas pópuli, sciscitabatur ab illis, ubi Christus nasceretur. At illi dixerunt ei: In Béthlehem Judæ. Sic enim scriptum est per Prophetam: Et tu Béthlehem, terra Juda, nequaquam mínima es in princípibus Juda: ex te enim éxiet dux, qui regat pópulum meum Ísrael. Tunc Herodes, clam vocatis Magis, diligenter dídicit ab eis tempus stellæ, quæ appáruit eis. Et mittens illos in Béthlehem, dixit: Ite, et interrogate diligenter de púero: et cum invenéritis, renunciate mihi, ut et ego véniens adorem eum. Qui, cum audíssent regem, abierunt. Et ecce stella, quam víderant in Oriente, antecedebat eos, usque dum véniens staret supra, ubi erat puer. Videntes autem stellam, gavisi sunt gáudio magno valde. Et intrantes domum, invenerunt púerum cum Maria matre ejus ( hic genuflectitur ) ET PROCIDENTES ADORAVERUNT EUM. Et apertis thesauris suis, obtulerunt ei múnera, aurum, thus, et myrrham. Et admóniti in somnis, ne redirent ad Herodem, per áliam viam reversi sunt in regionem suam.

+ Reading of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew. ch.2

At that time. When the Lord Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and are come to adore him. And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to him: In Bethlehem of Juda. For so it is written by the prophet: And thou Bethlehem the land of Juda art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come forth the captain that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, privately calling the wise men learned diligently of them the time of the star which appeared to them; and sending them into Bethlehem, said: Go and diligently inquire after the child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him. Who having heard the king, went their way; and behold the star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the child was. And seeing the star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and (here all genuflect) FALLING DOWN THEY ADORED HIM: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country.

Indictio Paschalis.

Mox Diaconus annunciat Pascha Resurrectionis, quo die, et mense sit
futurum, hoc modo:

Nóverit cáritas vestra, fratres caríssimi, quod, annuente Dei et Dómini
nostri Jesu Christi misericórdia, die N. mensis N. Pascha Dómini cum
gáudio celebrábimus.

V . Deo grátias.

Easter Indiction.

Then, the Deacon announces this way the Easter of Resurrection: which day and
month it will be:

Let it be known to your charity, dearest brethren, that, assenting God's
mercy and Our Lord Jesus Christ's , on the day of the month of N. we
will celebrate the Lord's Easter.

R. Thank be to God.

Antiphona post Evangelium.

Cum Jesus natus esset in Béthlehem Judæ, ecce Magi ab Oriente venerunt
Jerosólymam, dicéntes: Ubi est, qui natus est, rex Judæorum ? Vídimus enim
stellam ejus, et vénimus adorare eum.

Antiphon after the Gospel.

When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king
Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying: Where
is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East,
and are come to adore Him.
Matth. 2

Oratio super sindonem.

Tribue, quæsumus, omnípotens Deus: * ut sicut omnes nationes véniunt gaudentes adorare Christum Regem Dóminum natum, ita et hæc præclara lux hábitet semper in nobis. Per eundem.

Prayer upon the Shroud.

Vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, almighty God: that as all nations come joyfully
to worship Christ the Lord and King born, in the same way may this
marvellous light dwell always in us. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy
Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one
God, forever and ever. Amen.


Orietur in diebus ejus justítia: et abundántia pacis, donec extollatur luna.
V. Et dominábitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flúmine usque ad términos
terræ: et abundántia pacis, donec extollatur luna. Ps. 71.


In His days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace, till the moon
be taken away.
V. And He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of
the earth.
Ps. 71

Oratio super oblatam.

Pietatis tuæ, Dómine, sacramentum hodierna solemnitate recolentes, pro apparitione Dómini nostri Jesu Christi, et pro nostræ vocationis exórdiis, * sacrifícium tibi laudis offérimus: quod propitiatus suscipias, deprecamur.
Per eundem.

Prayer upon the Offering.

We offer to Thee, O Lord, the sacrifice of praise, remembering in today's solemnity the sacrament of Thy mercy, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ's manifestation and of the beginnigs of our vocation. We beseech Thee to accept it. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.


Vere quia dignum et justum est,æquum at salutare, nos tibi semper hic et ubique gratias agere, Domine Sancte, Pater Omnipotens, Æterne Deus. Qui te nobis super Jordanis álveum de cælis in voce tonítrui præbuisti, ut Salvatorem cæli demonstrares, et te Patrem Lúminis æterni osténderes. Cælos aperuisti, áerem benedixisti, fontem purificasti, et tuum únicum Fílium per spéciem columbæ sancto Spíritu declarasti. Susceperunt hódie fontes benedictionem tuam, et abstulerunt maledictionem nostram: ita ut credéntibus purificationem ómnium delictorum exhíbeant, et Deo fílios generando adoptive fáciant ad vitam æternam. Nam quos ad temporalem vitam carnalis natívitas fúderat: quos mors per prævaricationem céperat: hos vita æterna recípiens, ad regni cælorum glóriam revocavit. Per eundem.


Truly right and profitable, since it is meet and just, for us, at all times, here and in all places, to give thanks to Thee, O Lord, the holy One, the Father almighty, the everlasting God: Thou Who showed Thyself from the Heavens through the thunder's voice upon the river-bed of the Jordan, to manifest to us the Heaven's Saviour, and show Thyself as the Father of the Light. Thou didst open the Heavens, bless the air, purify the font, and declare Thy only Child through the shape of a dove. To-day fonts did receive Thy blessing, and delete our curse, so that they show to all the faithful the purification from all the crimes, and, begetting to God the adoptive children, they make them for the eternal life. So that, the eternal life, receiving those who the bodily birth gave to the worldly life, who the death took through the degeneration, may recall them to the glory of the Kingdom of the Heavens. Through the same Christ our Lord, through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Archangels venerate it, the Thrones, the Dominations, the Virtues, the Principalities, and the Powers worship. Whom the Cherubim and the Seraphim joyfully celebrate together. With them we pray Thou admit also our voices, saying with our suppliant confession: Holy...


Hoc fecit inítium signorum Jesus in Cana Galilææ: et
manifestavit glóriam suam discípulis suis. Joan. 2.


This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee and manifested his
glory. And his disciples believed in him.
John 2.


Hódie cælesti Sponso juncta est Ecclésia: quóniam in Jordane lavit ejus crímina. Currunt cum múnere Magi ad regales nuptias: et, ex aqua facto vino, lætantur convívia. Baptizat miles Regem, servus Dóminum suum, Joannes Salvatorem. Aqua Jordanis stúpuit: columba protestatur: paterna vox audita est: Filius meus hic est, in quo bene complácui: ipsum audite.


To-day the Chuch was joined to Her Heavenly Bridegoom, because in the Jordan she washed away her crimes. There run with a gift the Kings to the royal wedding; and, the banquet rejoiceth through the water made wine. The soldier baptizeth the King, the servant his Lord, John the Saviour. The warter of the Jordan was amazed: the dove testifieth, the Father's voice was heard: This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Lend ye an ear to Him.

Oratio post Communionem.

Cælesti lúmine, quæsumus, Dómine, semper, et ubique nos præveni: * ut mystérium, cujus nos partícipes esse voluisti, et puro cernamus intúitu, et digno percipiamus affectu. Per Dóminum.

Prayer after the Communion.

Precede us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, always and everywhere with Thy heavenly light: so that we may see with a pure sight and partake with a meet love to the mystery, to which you wanted us to partake. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

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