Wonderful customs come with the Feast of the Epiphany. Real Epiphany is 6 January, by the way. Happily, this year it doesn’t get transferred to a Sunday because it falls on a Sunday.
On Epiphany we find in the Roman Ritual a blessing for gold, frankincense and myrrh. Please bring all your spare, unblessed myrrh to your priest… and your gold. Bring lots of gold to your priest… or send it to me if your priest isn’t around.
By the way, we use pure frankincense in our thurible. I just bought a bunch more which I will bless. I also have a bag of real myrrh.
On Epiphany there is also the famous blessing for homes. Father can bless chalk which can be used then to mark the lintel of the house with the year.
However, today, on the Vigil of Epiphany, there is a special blessing for Epiphany Water. Here is a photo from a couple years ago, of yours truly blessing Epiphany Water.
I will bless a lot more tonight.
The Rite is very cool. It begins with the Litany of Saints, with a couple special petitions about the blessing of the water to follow. Satan and the demons are then driven from the place with a mighty prayer.
This is NOT a prayer for lay people to recite. Period. Understand? Just don’t.
Exorcism against Satan and the apostate angels [In Latin, of course. The “+” is where the celebrant makes the Sign of the Cross.]
In the name of our Lord Jesus + Christ and by His power, we cast you out, every unclean spirit, every devilish power, every assault of the infernal adversary, every legion, every diabolical group and sect; begone and stay far from the Church of God, from all who are made in the image of God and redeemed by the precious blood of the divine + Lamb. Never again dare, you cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church of God, nor to strike the chosen of God and to sift them as + wheat. For it is the Most High God who commands you, + He to whom you heretofore in your great pride considered yourself equal; He who desires that all men might be saved and come to the knowledge of truth. God the Father + commands you. God the Son + commands you. God the Holy + Spirit commands you. The majesty of Christ, the eternal Word of God made flesh + commands you; He who for the salvation of our race, the race that was lost through your envy, humbled Himself and became obedient even unto death; He who built His Church upon a solid rock, and proclaimed that the gates of hell should never prevail against her, and that He would remain with her all days, even to the end of the world. The sacred mystery of the cross + commands you, as well as the power of all the mysteries of Christian faith. The exalted Virgin Mary, Mother of God + commands you, who in her lowliness crushed your proud head from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception. The faith of the holy apostles Peter and Paul and the other apostles + commands you. The blood of the martyrs and the devout intercession of all holy men and women commands you.
Therefore, accursed dragon and every diabolical legion, we adjure you by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, by the God who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have life everlasting; cease your deception of the human race and your giving them to drink of the poison of everlasting damnation; desist from harming the Church and fettering her freedom. Begone Satan, you father and teacher of lies and enemy of mankind. Give place to Christ in whom you found none of your works; give place to the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church, which Christ Himself purchased with His blood. May you be brought low under God’s mighty hand. May you tremble and flee as we call upon the holy and awesome name of Jesus, before whom hell quakes, and to whom the virtues, powers, and dominations are subject; whom the cherubim and seraphim praise with unwearied voices, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts!
The salt and water are exorcised, blessed, blended.
Thus, all these elements are ripped from the domination of the Prince of this world and handed over wholly to the King, ready for use in our spiritual warfare.
At the end of the rite the Te Deum is sung. Spiffy.
Epiphany and its Vigil, once more important than Christmas. Very ancient and very cool feast.