Sunday, January 10, 2016

Maronite Year XVI

The Season of Epiphany that begins with this Feast is highly variable, because it has a fixed beginning but its end is ultimately determined by the variable feast of Easter. It may be as little as one week or as many as seven. Most of these currently celebrate a revelation of Christ, and as the season proceeds, the revelations expand outward: to John the Baptist, to the Apostles, to Nicodemus and the Judeans, to the Samaritan Woman and the Samaritans, to the Royal Official and all peoples. The weekdays of the weeks of Epiphany alternate an A liturgy and a B liturgy; the A liturgy focuses on the revelation to John the Baptist and the B liturgy focuses on the revelation to the Apostles. You'll notice, incidentally, that John the Baptist is very prominent in the Maronite liturgy.

Sometimes the three weeks of commemoration to follow are treated as being part of the Season of Epiphany, as well. Since Easter falls early in 2016, there is only one Sunday of Epiphany and the three commemoration Sundays before we begin to prepare for Easter.

First Sunday after Epiphany
2 Corinthians 10:1-11; John 1:29-34

John by the river saw Jesus
and proclaimed with true prophecy:
Behold the holy Lamb of God!
He takes away all of our sins;
I came that He might be revealed,
forgiveness radiant on the river.

O Son of the Almighty God!
You stooped to receive Your baptism.
The Father proclaimed You His Son.
The Holy Spirit like a dove
in power rested on Your head,
divinity radiant on the river.

With Your baptism You have clothed us,
the robe of glory you give to us,
the seal of the Holy Spirit,
the promise of holy rebirth
in water and in the Spirit
with Your light radiant on the river.

We do not fight with human strength;
we wield weapons of the Spirit.
The darkness has already lost;
with a glance from God light poured down
in magnificence and glory,
through His grace radiant on the river.

May divinity dwell in us
through the Spirit's descent on us;
may our minds receive Christ's great light.
Through Word and Spirit God made all;
Word and Spirit He gave to us
in splendor radiant on the river.

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