The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on 6 January. In 2017 the Feast falls on a Friday and the feast can be celebrated on Sunday 1 January where its readings may replace the Sunday readings for that day, the First Sunday after Christmas Day – see Rule 7c, APB p 27.
The liturgical colour for the Feast of the Epiphany is white; the colour of the Season after the Epiphany is green. If the whole of the Incarnation Cycle is observed, the colour may remain white until the Feast of the Presentation on 2 February, after which the colour becomes green. The colour for the Sunday of the Transfiguration, the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, is white.
About the Readings for the Season of Epiphany
The focus of the readings reveals the truth that Christ is manifested to humankind, to the world, to the entire creation. In them we catch a glimpse of the cosmic dimension of the work and achievement of Christ. They also express the challenge for all Christians to reveal that truth through their own lives.
The Sunday themes
Epiphany Magi come to adore the Christ
1st Sunday after Epiphany The baptism of Jesus
2nd Sunday after Epiphany The first disciples
3rd Sunday after Epiphany The start of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee
4th Sunday after Epiphany Jesus teaches his disciples
Feast of the Presentation The end of the Incarnation Cycle- 40 days after Christmas
5th, 6th, 7th Sunday Jesus continues his teaching
Last Sunday after Epiphany The Transfiguration
The readings for the Sundays after the Epiphany move us from any narrow view of an individual understanding of our faith in the Incarnation of Christ, to a wider view of God’s intention for the whole of creation.
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, forty days after Christ-mas, marks the end of the Incarnation Cycle which includes the Seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Simeon’s words to Mary as he takes the child, ‘And a sword shall pierce your own soul too’ is a reminder that in his own life Jesus will face suffering, as is prefigured in the response of the people to his teaching at Nazareth. As Christians continue the work of Jesus Christ, they too will face suffering.
The final Sunday before Lent, with a focus on the Transfiguration, ends the Season as it began, with a theophany, a sign of the glory of Cod made manifest among us.
(ACSA. 2016. Lectionary Advent 2016- Advent 2017. Year A)