This upcoming Friday is the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus Christ or now known as the The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. On this date, the Church remembers that Jesus was fully human (and lest we forget, fully God) and subject to the Law of Moses as a 1st Century Palestinian Jew. On this date, we recognize that Jesus would have been circumcised according to the Old Testament law and the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph would have named him– Jesus or Joshua/ Yeshua (as it would’ve been known in Hebrew) which means ‘The Lord is my Salvation.’
This event in the life of Christ can be found in the Gospel of St. Luke, Chapter 2, verses 15-21 (which is also the Gospel reading for the day):
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Thomas Cranmer, in his Collect for the day, wrote the following:
Almighty God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man: Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today, traditionally, the Veni Creator Spiritus is sung or said:
Come, Holy Spirit / Veni, Creator Spiritus
|Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
||Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
|O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
||Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
|Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father,
Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
||Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
|Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o’erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.
||Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
|Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.
||Hostem repellas longius, pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
|Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed, of both the eternal Spirit blest.
||Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
|Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
||Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis surrexit,
in saeculorum saecula. Amen
come join us on October 5th at 10:30am for Holy Baptism at Resurrection Woodstock. If you are interested in more information on the sacrament of Holy Baptism, please contact Fr. Gene Prince at gene(at)rezwoodstock(dot)org and join us for an informational class on Sunday, September 14th at 9:15am at Resurrection.
For those interested in reading over the liturgy and order for Holy Baptism, you may read it here.