St Cecilia Triduum for January 2024

St Cecilia Triduum for January 2024

January 2024

Triduum goes from 4 to 6 January

In the Old Testament, the High Priest was commanded to bless the people with these words: The Lord bless thee, and keep thee. The Lord shew his face to thee, and have mercy on thee. The Lord turn his countenance to thee, and give thee peace. And they shall invoke my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them (Nb 6:22-27).

In the New Covenant God takes flesh and has a human Name. We have just recently celebrated His birth, His circumcision, and the imposition of that Holy Name of Jesus. Let us turn our thoughts and prayers to the Holy Name during these three days.

Ever since that eighth day after the Nativity on which St Joseph had the privilege of imposing the Sacred Name which had come directly from God the Father through the angel, every generation of Christians has loved and venerated the Name of Jesus. It is sacred. It is divine. It is the Name of God Himself come in the flesh.

Because of this, the Name contains in itself all grace and all power. All miracles are possible when the Name is invoked. This was made clear from the very first miracle performed after Pentecost. In the Temple of Jerusalem, Peter tells the lame man to walk “in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth” (Acts 3:6).

The power of the Name has in no way diminished in spite of the two millennia that have passed since then, nor will it ever. We need to keep this in mind, because the simple act of pronouncing the Name of Jesus is in itself a prayer, and of itself it has the power of warding off all temptations and reducing to nothing the power of the devil. In itself, without the addition of any other words, it constitutes a form of minor exorcism that every baptised Christian can pronounce as such. That is why, when in the throes of any kind of temptation, the first reflex of the Christian soul should be to pronounce that Name with devotion and faith, confident that through it, marvels can and will happen. The Enemy hates nothing more than that Holy Name.

As we ask Our Saviour to hear our prayers for this month’s novena intentions, and as we feel the storm raging with renewed vehemence around the Bark of Peter, we must renew our faith in the power of the Name of Jesus.

To help us renew our devotion, on the feast of the Holy Name the Church has us sing hymns composed by St Bernard, each stanza of which is a delight to read and ponder. I propose three stanzas, one for each day of this triduum. I’ve added the Latin, as the English translation loses much of the original!


Jesu, Res admirabilis,

Et Triumphator nobilis,

Dulcedo ineffabilis,

Totus desiderabilis.

O Jesu, King most wonderful,

Thou Conqueror renowned,

Thou sweetness most ineffable,

In whom all joys are found!


Quando cor nostrum visitas,

Tunc lucet ei veritas,

Mundi vilescit vanitas,

Et intus fervet caritas.

When once Thou visitest the heart,

Then truth begins to shine;

Then earthly vanities depart;

Then kindles love divine.


Mane nobiscum, Domine,

Et nos illustra lumine;

Pulsa mentis caligine,

Mundum reple dulcedine.

Stay with us Lord, and with Thy Light

Illumine the soul’s abyss;

Scatter the darkness of our night,

And fill the world with Bliss.

With those memorable words that we pray will pour a soothing balm into our souls, and give us a taste of the divine sweetness, we are well prepared to face the challenges this year holds for us. They will be greater than the last! But that also means the graces made available will be of greater value and power. Above all, let us ever have on our lips that Holy Name: