Epiphany season

The Epiphany season, also known as Epiphanytide or the time of Sundays After Epiphany, is a liturgical period, celebrated by many Christian Churches, which immediately follows the Christmas season. It begins on Epiphany Day, and ends at various points as defined by those denominations. The typical liturgical colour for this season is white.

The Epiphanytide tradition of chalking the door involves writing C+M+B (representing the names of the Three Wise Men as well as the Christian prayer Christus mansionem benedicat) on one's door, as seen here on the gate of Villa Reepschlägerbahn in Germany.

Popular Epiphanytide customs include Epiphany singing, chalking the door and families inviting their pastor to bless their home.[1]

Western ChristianityEdit

Roman Rite CatholicismEdit

Ordinary FormEdit

The Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church regards the time after Epiphany as a subset of the Christmas season. The Christmas season ends on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, a feast typically celebrated on the Sunday after Epiphany. Although Epiphany is not a distinct season, the Ordinary Form does have specific Mass collects that are used from Epiphany onward.[2] Because Epiphany is, in many places, transferred to the Sunday from January 2 to 8 inclusive, the period during which the Epiphany texts are used forms a de facto octave between the Sunday of Epiphany and the Sunday of the Baptism of the Lord. Christmas season is followed by Ordinary Time.

Extraordinary FormEdit

In traditionalist Catholic communities that use the General Roman Calendar of 1960 as part of the Extraordinary Form authorized by Summorum Pontificum, Epiphany is celebrated with a de facto octave from January 6 to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 13, although the octave was nominally removed in the calendar reforms of 1955. The Sundays which follow are designated "Sundays after Epiphany" until the start of Shrovetide.

Ordinariate UseEdit

In 2015, the Catholic Church authorized a Use of the Roman Rite for the three Personal Ordinariates for former Anglicans. The Ordinariate Use explicitly includes a period called Epiphanytide, which runs from the Monday after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord until the day before Ash Wednesday.[3]

Lutheranism and MethodismEdit

Methodism[4][5] and Lutheranism,[6] celebrate an Epiphany season that lasts from January 6 until the day before Ash Wednesday.[7]

AnglicanismEdit

In 2000, the Church of England introduced into its liturgy an optional Epiphany season by approving the Common Worship series of services as an alternative to those in the Book of Common Prayer. This optional season begins with Evening Prayer on the day before the Epiphany (which may be celebrated on January 6 or on the Sunday between January 2 and 8) and ends on the Feast of the Presentation[8] (which may be celebrated on February 2 or on the Sunday between January 28 and February 3).

Eastern ChristianityEdit

East Syriac RiteEdit

In the East Syriac Rite (used by churches such as the Syro-Malabar Church), this period is called the Season of Epiphany, also known by its Syriac transliteration Denha. This season begins on the Sunday between January 2 and 6, or on January 6 itself if no such Sunday exists. The season runs until the first Sunday of Lent, which begins seven weeks before Easter (three days earlier than it does in Western Christianity).

The rite celebrates the following feast days on sequential Fridays during Epiphany season:[9]

  1. St. John the Baptist
  2. Sts. Peter and Paul
  3. The Evangelists
  4. St. Stephen
  5. The Greek Fathers
  6. The Syriac Fathers
  7. The Patron of the Church
  8. Commemoration of the Dead

Because the length of the Season of Epiphany is variable, later Friday feasts are sometimes moved to earlier weeks.[10]

The Three Days' Lent occurs during this season.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "An Epiphany Blessing of Homes and Chalking the Door". Discipleship Ministries. 2007. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  2. ^ The Roman Missal (3rd ed.). New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing. 2011. pp. 52–63.
  3. ^ "Liturgical Calendar for the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter" (PDF). Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  4. ^ "Epiphany". Christian Advocate. United Methodist Publishing House. 7: 15. 1963. Epiphany Day is always Twelfth Night or January 6, and in Methodist usage the Epiphany Season includes all the Sundays between that date and Ash Wednesday, which for 1964 will be February 12, the beginning of Lent.
  5. ^ "The Methodist Church in Singapore - Seasons of the Church". The Methodist Church in Singapore. Retrieved November 24, 2015. The Methodist Church in Singapore observes seven Christian seasons throughout the year: Advent, Christmastide, Epiphany, Lent, Eastertide, Pentecost and Kingdomtide.
  6. ^ "Epiphany". Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Archived from the original on May 28, 2013.
  7. ^ BBC: Epiphany (Last updated 2011-10-07; accessed 2014-12-19)
  8. ^ "Common Worship Texts: Times and Seasons" (PDF). Church House Publishing. 2006. p. 64. The Christmas season is often celebrated for twelve days, ending with the Epiphany. Contemporary use has sought to express an alternative tradition, in which Christmas lasts for a full forty days, ending with the Feast of the Presentation on February 2.
  9. ^ Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Commission for Liturgy. "Syro-Malabar Liturgical Calendar: 2018–2019" (PDF). pp. 12–20.
  10. ^ Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Commission for Liturgy. "Syro-Malabar Liturgical Calendar: 2017–2018" (PDF). p. 17.
  11. ^ Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Commission for Liturgy. "Syro-Malabar Liturgical Calendar: 2020–2021" (PDF). p. 15.