Vigil of Epiphany

Here is a link to my WDTPRS article on the Vigil of Epiphany.

A snip:

… in the 2002 editio typica of the Missale Romanum there is now a new Vigil Mass with its own texts. There was no Vigil in the earlier editions. Since we have never examined these new Vigil prayers, we can look at all three and find out what they really say.

COLLECT (2002MR) “in Vigilia
Corda nostra, quaesumus, Domine,
tuae maiestatis splendor illustret,
quo mundi huius tenebras transire valeamus,
et perveniamus ad patriam claritatis aeternae.

Who would like to take a shot at this?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Geri says:

    Vigil of Epiphany?
    Sorry to go off topic and ask what may be a stupid question, but does that mean we did the worng readings and prayers today in our anticipated Mass?

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

  2. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Our souls beseech Thee, Lord,
    illustrate the splendor of your majesty,
    that we may prevail against the passing shadows of this world
    and we arrive at our homeland of eternal light.

    Sorry, it sounds cheesy the way I rendered it. I’m not educated in Latin. It shows, eh? But I think I’ve gotten the gist of it: the juxtaposition of the “passing shadows of this world” against the “eternal light” of heaven.

  3. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Geri – it’s the 2002 Missal, which has not yet been translated into English.

    (Remove the “we” from “and we arrive”.)

  4. Alphonsus says:

    Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord,
    that the splendour of Thy Majesty illumine our hearts,
    that splendour by which we may have the strength
    to pass through the darkness of this world,
    and enter into (our) homeland of eternal glory.

  5. seminonymous says:

    …I can’t tell if the last line is part of the quo phrase or not. But since Alphonsus did such a nice job with it as part, here’s what I think it would look like separate:

    Grant, we beseech Thee oh Lord,
    That the splendor of Thy majesty,
    by which we may have the strength to pass through the darkness of this world,
    may illuminate our hearts,
    and let us arrive at [our] homeland of eternal brightness.

  6. Paul Cavendish says:

    How interesting – I had not realised the Vigil had been restored. Even more interesting (to me at least) is that the proper collect has been used rather than the one found in pre-1962 missals before the Vigil was supressed in 1955. Then the collect was Omnipotens. The reformers, incorrectly, took the view that the Vigil was merely a displaced Sunday due to the comites Christi octave days. A look at Dominican or other sources would have corrected their error.

  7. Geri says:


    Thank you, Jeff

    (Save the Liturgy, save my sanity…)

  8. David M. Wallace says:

    Enlighten our hearts, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that by the brilliance of Thy Majesty, we may be strong enough to cross over from the darkness of this world to arrive in the land of eternal brightness.

  9. sacradoctrina says:

    Enlighten our hearts, O Lord, we beseech Thee, that by the brilliance of Thy Majesty, we may be strong enough to cross over from the darkness of this world to arrive in the [father]land of eternal brightness.

  10. Peter Wilkinson says:

    We beseech Thee, O Lord, that the brightness of the approaching festival may enlighten our hearts, that so we may escape from this world, and may come to the land of eternal light; through….

    This the the translation of the Vigil Collect from the Sarum Rite as englished in 1868

  11. Rob F. says:

    Fascinating. This vigil was not yet restored in the “oratio” of first vespers in the 2000 edition of the Liturgia Horarum. Glad to see in the 2002 missale. I would guess that the decision to restore it occurred between 1999 and 2001. Would this collect be allowed as an oration for first vespers on Epiphany, when I pray it again in 366 days?

  12. Jeff says:

    I suppose this is cheating a bit, but here is the proposed version for the new translation of the Missal.

    Let the splendor of your glory
    shed its light within out hearts,
    we pray, O Lord,
    that we may pass through the darkness of this world
    and reach the homeland where light never fails.

  13. Isaac says:

    British Breviary (1974):

    Lord, may the radiance of your glory light up our hearts,
    and bring us through the shadows of this world
    until we reach our homeland of everlasting light.

    (We make our prayer) through our Lord.

    Ahem…still better than ICEL…plain obvious.


  14. Rob F. says:

    On Epiphany I wrote that the Vigil collect was not found in the 2000 Liturgia Horarum. Yesterday, I found myself corrected; there it was as the oration, not indeed for EPIPHANIA, but for DIE 7 JANUARII. This got me curious; what is the collect for 7 January in the 2002 Missale?

    Isaac, I take it the oration from the 1974 British Breviary you posted was for 7 January. Or does your breviary have an oration for the Vigil? If it does, then it is remarkably prescient.

  15. Isaac says:

    Yes Rob, you are absolutely correct. They are for 7th January.

    I must say that despite all the harsh things said about the modern English Breviary the orations for this season (Advent to Epiphany) are quite wonderfully translated even though they lack their Thous and Thees.

    For the 9th of January

    God and Father, light of all mankind,
    make our hearts radiant with the splendour of that light
    which long ago you shed on our fathers in the faith,
    and give your people the joy of lasting peace.

    (We make our prayer) through our Lord.


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