The Third Sunday after Epiphany ~ Dom Prosper Guéranger

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

We have kept for the end of this volume the five following Sundays, in order not to interrupt the order of the Feasts, which are kept during the forty days of Christmastide; as also, because the variation of Easter Sunday necessitates, almost every year, a different arrangement from that in which they stand in the Missal. Septuagesima often comes in January, and the Feast of the Purification is occasionally later than Quinquagesima Sunday. We were obliged to provide for these changes, and simplify them for the Faithful, by adopting our present plan.

It also happens, that the 3rd and 4th Sundays after the Epiphany, (even in years when they could be kept,) have to be omitted, owing to the occurrence of a Double feast: and feasts of this class are frequent (During the last fifteen days of January. In this case, the Church simply makes a commemoration of the occurring Sunday, at the Collect, Secret, and Post-communion; and the Gospel of the Sunday is read in place of St. John’s, at the end of Mass.

The Sundays of Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima, take precedence of Double feasts; and, as we have already noticed, the Purification itself is deferred till the following day, if it fall on any of these three Sundays.


The Introit represents the Angels of God adoring him on his entrance into this world, as St. Paul explains this passage of the Psalms [Heb. 1. 6]. The Church celebrates, with David, the gladness of Sion, and the joy of the daughters of Juda.


Adorate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: audivit et laetata est Sion, et exsultaverunt filiae Judas.
Ps. Dominus regnavit, exsultet terra, laetentur insulae multae. V. Gloria Patri. Adorate.
Adore God, all ye his Angels: Sion heard and was glad, and the Daughters of Juda rejoiced.
Ps. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice, let many islands be glad. V. Glory, &c. Adore.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, infirmitatem nostram propitius respice: atque ad protegendum nos, dexteram tuae majestatis extende. Per Dominum.O Almighty and Eternal God, mercifully behold our weakness, and stretch forth the right hand of thy majesty to protect us. Through, &c.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Deus qui salutis aeternae, beatae Mariaa virginitate fecunda, humano generi praemia praestitisti; tribue, quaesumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitae suscipere, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum.O God, who, by the fruitful Virginity of the Blessed Mary, hast given to mankind the rewards of eternal salvation, grant, we beseech thee, that we may experience Her intercession, by whom we received the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son.

The third Prayer is one of the following:

Against the persecutors of the church

Ecclesiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, preces placatus admitte: ut, destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis secura tibi serviat libertate.Mercifully hear, we beseech thee, O Lord, the prayers of thy Church, that all oppositions and errors being removed, she may serve thee with a secure and undisturbed devotion.

For the Pope

Deus omnium fidelium Pastor et Rector, famulum tuum N. quem Pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice; da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere; ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Dominum.O God, the Pastor and Governor of all the Faithful, look down in thy mercy on thy servant N. whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church; and grant, we beseech thee, that, both by word and example, he may edify all those that are under his charge, and, with the flock intrusted to him, arrive, at length, at eternal happiness. Through, etc.


Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.Cap. XII.Fratres, nolite esse prudentes apud vosmetipsos: nulli malum pro male reddentes: providentes bona non tantum coram Deo, sed etiam coram omnibus ho minibus; si fieri potest, quod ex vobis est, cum omnibus hominibus pacem habentes: non vosmetipsos defendentes, charissimi, sed date locum ira; scriptura est enim: Mihi vindicta, ego retribuam, dicit Dominus. Sed si esurierit inimicus tuus, ciba illum; si sitit, potum da illi: hoc enim faciens, carbones ignis congeres super caput ejus. Noli vinci a malo, sed vince in bono malum.Lesson of the Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Romans.Ch. XII.Brethren, be not wise in your own conceits. To no man rendering evil for evil. Providing good things not only in the sight of God, but also in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as in you, having peace with all men. Not revenging your selves, my dearly beloved, but give place unto wrath. For it is written: Revenge to me, I will repay, saith the Lord. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat : if he thirst give him to drink: for doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.

This love of our neighbour, recommended to us the Apostle, is a consequence of that universal brotherhood, which our Saviour, by his Birth, brought us from heaven. He came to establish peace between heaven and earth; men, therefore, ought to be at peace one with another. Our Lord bids us not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil by good:- and did not he first practise this, by coming among us, who were children of wrath, that he might make us children of adoption, by his humiliations and his sufferings?

In the Gradual, the holy Church again celebrates the coming of the Emmanuel, and invites all nations, and all the kings of the earth, to come and praise his holy name.


Timebunt gentes Nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terrae gloriam tuam.
V. Quoniam aedificavit Dominus Sion, et videbitur in majestate sua.Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Dominus regnavit : exsultet terra, laetentur insulae multae. Alleluia.
The Gentiles shall fear thy Name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
V. For the Lord hath built up Sion, and he shall be seen in his glory.Alleluia, alleluia.
V. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice; let many islands be glad. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.Cap. Fill.In illo tempore, cum descendisset Jesus de monte, secutae sunt eum turbae multae; et ecce leprosus veniens, adorabat eum dicens: Domine, si vis, potes me mundare. Et extendens Jesus manum, tetigit eum dicens: Volo, mundare. Et confestim mundata est lepra ejus. Et ait illi Jesus: Vide, nemini dixeris; sed vade, ostende te Sacerdoti, et offer munus, quod praecepit Moyses, in testimonium illis. Cum autem introisset Capharnaum, accessit ad eum Centurio, rogans eum et dicens; Domine, puer meus jacet in domo paralyticus, et male torquetus. Et ait illi Jesus: Ego veniam et curabo eum. Et respondens Centurio, ait: Domine, non sum dignus ut intres sub tectum meum; sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur puer meus. Nam et ego homo sum sub potestate constitutus, habens sub me milites, et dico huic: vade, et vadit; et alii: veni, et venit; et servo meo: fac hoc, et facit. Audiens autem Jesus, miratus est, et sequentibus se dixit: Amen dico vobis, non inveni tantam fidem in Israel. Dico autem vobis, quod multi ab Oriente et Occidente venient, et recumbent cum Abraham et Isaac et Jacob in regno coelorum; filii autem regni ejicientur in tenebras exteriores: ibi erit fletus et stridor dentium. Et dixit Jesus Centurioni: Vade, et sicut credidisti, fiat tibi. Et sanatus est puer in illa hora.Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Matthew.Ch. J711.At that time, when Jesus was come down from the
mountain, great multitudes followed him; and behold a leper came and adored him, saying : Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus stretching forth his hand, touched him, saying: I will, be thou made clean. And forthwith his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith to him: See thou tell no man, but go show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them. And when he had entered unto Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and sorely tormented. And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him. And the centurion making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. And when Jesus heard this, he marvelled, and said to them that followed him: Amen, I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus said to the centurion: Go, and as thou hast believed, so be it done to thee. And his servant was healed at that hour.

The human race was infected with the leprosy of sin: the Son of God touches it by the mystery of Incarnation, and restores it to health. But, he quires that the sick man, now that he is healed, go and show himself to the Priest, and comply with ceremonies prescribed by the law; and this, to show that he allows a human priesthood to co-operate the work of our salvation. The vocation of the Gentiles, of which the Magi were the first-fruits, is again brought before us in the faith of the Centurion. A Roman Soldier, and millions like him, shall be reputed as true children of Abraham, Isaac, aid Jacob; whilst they, who are the sons of this Patriarch, according to the flesh, shall be cast out, from the feast-chamber, into the gloom of blindness; and their punishment shall be given as a spectacle to the whole earth.

Let man, then, saved as he has been by the coming of the Emmanuel, sing a hymn of praise to the power of the God, who has wrought our salvation by the strength of his almighty arm. Man had been sentenced to death; but, now that he has God for a Brother, he shall not die: he will live and could he spend his life better than in praising the works of this God, that has saved him?


Dextera Domini fecit virtutem, dextera Domini exaltavit me; non moriar, sed vivam, et narrabo opera Domini.The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength, the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me. I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.


Haec hostia, Domini, quaesumus, emundet nostra delicta: et sacrificia celebrandum subditorum tibi corpora, mentesque sanctificet. Per Dominum.May this offering, O Lord, we beseech thee, cleanse away our sins: and sanctify the bodies and souls of thy servants, to prepare them for worthily celebrating this sacrifice. Through, etc.

Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Muneribus nostris, quaesumus, Domine, precibusque susceptis; et coelestibus nos munda mysteriis, et clementer exaudi.Receive, O Lord, our offerings and prayers: cleanse us by these heavenly mysteries, and mercifully hear us.

Against the persecutors of the Church

Protege, nos, Domino, tuis mysteriis servientes: ut divinis rebus inhaerentes, et corpore tibi famulemur et mente.Protect us, O Lord, while we assist at thy sacred mysteries, that being employed in acts of religion, we may serve thee both in body and mind.

For the Pope

Oblatis, quaesumus, Domine placare muneribus, et famulum tuum N., quem Pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, assidua protectione guberna. Per Dominum.Be appeased, O Lord, with. the offering we have made, and cease not to protect thy servant N., whom thou hast been pleased to appoint Pastor over thy Church. Through, etc.


V. Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
V. Sursum corda.
R. Habemus ad Dominum.
V. Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
R. Dignum et justum est.Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Qui cum unigenito Filio tuo et Spiritu Sancto unus es Deus, unus es Do minus: non in unius singularitate Personae, sed in unius Trinitate substantiae. Quod enim de tua gloria, revelante te, credimus, hoc de Filio tuo, hoc de Spiritu Sancto, sine differentia discretionis sentimus. Ut in confessione verae sempiternaeque Deitatis, et in Personis proprietas, et in essentia unitas, et in Majestate adoretur aequalitas. Quam laudant Angeli atque Archangeli, Cherubim quoque ac Seraphim; qui non cessant clamare quotidie una voce dicentes, Sanctus, &c.
V. For ever and ever.
R. Amen.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R. We have them fixed on God.
V. Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and just.It is truly meet and just right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, F Almighty, Eternal God. Who together with thy Only Begotten Son and the Holy Ghost art one God and one Lord: not in a singularity of one Person, but in a Trinity of one substance. For what we believe of thy glory, as thou hast revealed, the same we believe of thy Son and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or distinction. So that in the confession of the true and eternal Deity, we adore a distinction in the Persons, an unity in the essence, and an equality in the Majesty. Whom the Angels and Arch angels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim praise, and cease not daily to cry out with one voice, saying, Holy, etc.

After having distributed the Bread of Life, the Church reminds us how the people were in admiration at the words of Jesus. The children of the Church, initiated into all his Mysteries, are, at this moment, enjoying the effects of that ineffable Word,. by means of which the Redeemer has changed the broad into his Body, and the wino into his Blood.


Mirabantur omnes de his quae procedebant de ore Dei.All wondered at the words that came from the mouth of God.


Quos tantis, Domine, largiris uti mysteriis, quaesumus ut effectibus nos eorum veraciter aptare digneris. Per Dominum.We beseech thee, O Lord, that we, to whom thou vouchsafest the use of these great mysteries, may be made truly worthy to receive the benefits thereof. Through, the.

Commemoration of Blessed Virgin Mary

Haec nos communio, Do mine, purget a crimine; et intercedente beata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, coelestis remedii faciat esse consortes.May this communion, O Lord, cleanse us from sin, and by the intercession of blessed Mary, the Virgin-Mother of God, make us partakers of thy heavenly remedy.

Against the persecutors of the Church

Quaesumus, Domine Deus noster, ut quos divina tribuis partipatione gaudere, humanis non sinas subjacere periculis.We beseech thee, O Almighty God, not to leave exposed to the dangers of human life, those whom thou hast permitted to partake of these divine mysteries.

For the Pope

Haec nos, quaesumus, Domine, divini sacramenti perceptio protegat: et famulum tuum N., ducia Pastorem Ecclesias tuae praeesse voluisti, una cum commisso sibi grege, salvet semper et muniat. Per Dominum.May the participation of this divine Sacrament protect us, we beseech thee, O Lord; and always procure safety and de fence to thy servant N., whom thou hast appointed Pastor over thy Church, together with the flock committed to his charge. Through,& c.


The Psalms, Antiphons, Capitulum, Hymn, and Versicle, are given above: Vespers for Sundays and Feasts during Christmas.


Ant. Domine, si vis, potes me mundare: et ait Jesus: Volo, mundare.Ant. O Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus saith: I will: be thou cleansed.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, infirmitatem nostram propitius respice: atque ad protegendum nos dexteram tuae majestatis extende. Per Dominum.
Let us pray.
O Almighty and God, mercifully behold our weakness, and stretch the right hand of thy majesty to protect us. Through, etc.


This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)

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