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Scott P. Richert

January: The Month of the Holy Name of Jesus

By January 2, 2014

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In Philippians 2, St. Paul tells us that "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." From the earliest days of Christianity, Christians have known the great power of Jesus' Holy Name. As the once-popular hymn commanded:

All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ Name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of all.

Small wonder, then, that the Church sets aside the first month of the year in honor of the Holy Name of Jesus. In our society, of course, we hear His Name uttered quite often, but all too frequently, it is used in a curse or blasphemy. In the past, Christians would often make the Sign of the Cross when they heard Christ's Name uttered in such a manner, and that's a practice that would be worthwhile to revive.

Another good practice that we could take to heart during January, the Month of the Holy Name of Jesus is the recitation of the Jesus Prayer. This prayer is as popular among Eastern Christians, both Catholic and Orthodox, as the rosary is among Roman Catholics, but it's not well known in the West.

This month, why not take a few minutes to memorize the Jesus Prayer, and pray it during those moments of the day when you are between activities, or traveling, or simply taking a rest? Keeping Christ's Name always on our lips is a good way to ensure that we draw ever nearer to Him.

Prayers for January:

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January 4, 2011 at 11:33 pm
(1) Reginald Smith says:

When I was an Anglican I was introduced to the custom of giving a small bow each time the name of Jesus is mentioned at church, especially during the Gospel.
I still do this decades later.
When I hear our Lord’s name abused on TV I’ve started quietly saying “Lord have mercy”.
I think I’ll start making the sign of the cross as you mentioned Richard.

Dominus vobiscum.

January 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm
(2) Reginald Smith says:

Sorry Scott!
In my rush I renamed you Richard. (Hmmm… I wonder why…)

January 5, 2011 at 8:23 am
(3) Michael Ezzo says:

Reginald, there is also a Latin phrase that can be used in the same situation — when you hear the Lord’s name used in vain, as is increasingly being done in this vale of tears. You say, you hear it on TV; if you are over 40, you probably remember the days when you would NEVER hear such a thing on TV!

Anyway the phrase is : “Sit nomen Domini benedictum.”
It means “Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” There is no reason why you can’t use the English translation, I suppose.

January 5, 2011 at 4:05 pm
(4) Sukhmandir Kaur says:

It’s sad that any name of reverence should have come to be associated with curses. People might want to pay better attention to the ten commandments:
“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

January 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm
(5) Erin Pascal says:

You are right. Every time I hear people curse using His name, I feel bad about it and I also feel pity for them. It makes me wonder what people have become nowadays. You are right that we should keep Christ’s name on our lips but not in a negative way. People should give value and importance to His holy name at all times.

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