Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Holy Name

The 8th day of Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Name:

You shall call his name Jesus for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21)

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Ah! Ah! That wonderful Name! Ah! That delectable Name! This is the Name that is above all names, the Name that is highest of all, without which no one hopes for salvation. This Name is sweet and joyful, giving veritable comfort to the human heart. Verily the Name of Jesus is in my mind a joyous song and heavenly music in my ear, and in my mouth a honeyed sweetness. Wherefore no wonder I love that Name which gives comfort to me in all my anguish. I cannot pray, I cannot meditate, but in sounding the Name of Jesus. I savour no joy that is not mingled with Jesus. Wheresoever I be, wheresoever I sit, whatsoever I do, the thought of the savour of the Name of Jesus never leaves my mind. I have set it in my mind, I have set it as a token upon my heart. What can one lack who desires to love the Name of Jesus unceasingly?
Richard Rolle (1290-1349)

Collect for the Feast of the Holy Name:
Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, 1979, p. 213

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