Thursday, January 17, 2008

We Three Kings

Epiphanytide may now be over, but here's an excuse to hearken back to it...

It's good to be moved in and about to unpack properly. My mates and I joke that this is the "Casa dei Magi", being the residence of the other three wise men!

Therefore, in honour of the three Kings of Cologne (no pun intended, I hate the stuff!) I note that the current Martyrology commemorates the transfer of their relics to that city on the 24th of July:

...13. Coloniae Agrippinae in Lotharingia, translatio trium magorum, qui, sapientes ex Oriente, munera deferentes Bethlehem venerunt contemplare in puero mysterium celsitudinem Unigeniti.

(...13. At Cologne in Lorraine, the translation of [the relics of] the three magi, who, wise men from the East, bearing gifts came to Bethlehem to contemplate in the Child the mystery of the beauty of the Onlybegotten.)

The Proper Calendar for the Archdiocese of Cologne celebrates a special Office in honour of this on the 23rd of July, as a Memorial in the city of Cologne only. Here's the Collect of the feast (and here's the link to the PDF file):

Deus, illuminator omnium gentium, da populis tuis perpetua pace gaudere; et illud lumen splendidum infunde, cordibus nostris, quo trium magorum mentes illustrasti. Per Dominum...

(O God, Enlightener of all peoples, grant unto Thy people to rejoice in perpetual peace; and that splendid light pour forth into our hearts with which Thou didst enlighten the three Magi. Through our Lord...)

Intriguingly enough, this turns out to be the first Oratio secreta of Lauds for the Epiphany in the Ambrosian Rite (reading quo for the quod and illustrasti for the aspersisti of the original)!

Just last night I had the chance at last to chalk up the Epiphany blessing with some of the blest chalk Fr Rowe had at the Pro., writing


which invokes both the Wise Men three (SS Caspar, Balthasar and Melchior) and above all Christ Himself: Christus Mansionem Benedicat ("May Christ bless this house").

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