Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Epiphany of the Lord

4 January 2015

EntranceBethlehem of noblest cities
Penitential RiteSt Gabriel (mtgf)
GloriaChristmas (Paul Gibson)
Psalm 71O Lord, all the earth (mtgf)
Gospel AcclamationSalisbury Alleluia (Christopher Walker)
Preparation of GiftsWhat shall we give (Catalan arr. Dean)
Eucharistic AcclamationsCreation (Marty Haugen)
Lamb of GodChristmas (mtgf)
Communion AntiphonWe have seen his star (mtgf)
CommunionThe Three Kings (Cornelius)
FinalWe three Kings

In previous years, and you can check, we have begun the Epiphany with 'We 3 kings' and ended with 'The first Nowell'. This year we made a change and began with Bethlehem of noblest cities'. For me, at least, there is a tension between wanting to have our fill of carols and awareness a number of the Epiphany hymns giving perhaps a more theological view of the feast. Though I know some don't like 'We three kings' I think it is a good original carol and suspect that its verse have informed people of an interpretation of the Epiphany story. [I was intrigued to hear of some US parishes omitting the 4th verse as it is too sad - this may be an urban myth.]

In the event the opening hymn was just that - and I think what I am partly looking for is the character brings - and gives to the season - this is not Ordinary Time. We three kings did not feel right at the end either - a case of 'we already know this why are you telling us again?'? My thought for next year is the kings at the beginning and a hymn at the end but something uplifting. As Wie schön leeches die Morgenstern is not in the hymnbook 'Songs of thankfulness and praise' but as I suspect the tune is not known perhaps to King Divine?

I have been working on the Common Psalms recently. A Common Psalm is provided for Epiphany in addition to Christmas, presumably to show a shift in the season. (Though the Christmas response All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. would also be appropriate.) What I found interesting, and I suspect is no more than different working groups on the Lectionary, is that for the Epiphany the psalm verses are the same but the response is longer and I think is slightly better — Before you all kings shall fall prostrate, all nations shall serve you.

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