Catholicism, Catholic, Traditional Catholicism, Catholic Church


``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


Time After Epiphany Overview






Theme:

His Childhood Continued, His public ministry

Color:

Green

Mood:

Joyous wonder

Symbols:

Symbols of Christmas until Candlemas;
then: loaves and Fishes, Scallop shell, wine of Cana

Length:

14 January to the Vespers of Septuagesima Sunday


The season of Time after Epiphany 1 -- or "Epiphanytide" -- is more a season set up for liturgical reasons than spiritual ones, as it is spiritually a continuation of Christmas's devotion to the Divine Childhood and Christ's ministry. Because the date of Easter changes each year, two seasons have variable lengths in order to balance the calendar. The Season of Time After Pentecost can have as few as 23 Sundays or as many as 28 Sundays depending on the date of Easter. This season can have anywhere from 4 to 38 days, depending on the date of Easter. If this season is short, then Time after Pentecost will be longer; and if this Season is long, Time after Pentecost will be shorter.

One spiritual focus of the Season is the continuation of Christmas and contemplation of the Divine Childhood. The other spiritual focus is on Christ's revealing Himself as God. Dr. Peter Kwasniewski describes the season beautifully:

Those who attend the traditional Latin Mass are aware of how beautifully, how tenderly, how lovingly, the Church basks in the light of the newborn Christ, the youthful Christ, the Christ of the river Jordan and the miracle of Cana. Epiphanytide is one of the most poetic and touching of all the seasons (or “sub-seasons,” as it were). It starts with the feast of the Epiphany itself, which, in accord with unbroken custom stretching back for centuries, is celebrated on the “Twelfth Day” after Christmas, January 6 (and not on the nearest Sunday, to suit the world’s imperious work schedule). One week later, on the octave day, January 13, the Church in her usus antiquior celebrates the Baptism of Christ. Then the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany brings us the Gospel of the wedding feast at Cana. The three great theophanies or divine manifestations honored in this season—namely, the visit of the Magi, the baptism in the Jordan, and the wedding of Cana—are given their full individual due, without haste, without unseemly compression or alternation. Indeed, there is a leisurely feel to this Epiphany season, a sense of time suspended. It is as if Holy Mother Church, like a mother watching her children grow up too fast, cannot quite resign herself to parting from the young Christ.

Epiphanytide is the afterglow of the revelation of Christ to the world, Christ who is the true Enlightenment against which the devil vainly (although at times with considerable temporary success) attempts to establish his substitutes—most especially the rationalist and liberal worldview under which Catholics have been living, and which they have slowly adopted, over the past several centuries, to the near extinction of their liturgical life.

 
Footnotes:
1 Like Septuagesima and Time after Pentecost, this Season is known as "Ordinary Time" to Catholics using the Novus Ordo calendar.


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