Real Epiphany

Happy Real Epiphany!

In the US, Epiphany is routinely transferred to the Sunday between the 2nd and the 8th of January. And this breaks my CDO little heart. It just isn’t right. Gone are the twelve days of Christmas, to be replaced with a variable 9-14 days of Christmas. Maybe some years, it’s a relief not to have all those musicians, but what do we get from our true love on the 13th and 14th days??

I don’t think transferring Epiphany helps the faithful have greater exposure to its mysteries. Instead it says "this isn’t important enough to be a Holy Day of Obligation". And therefore it mustn’t be important at all. It deprives the Christmas season of it’s proper course and flow of time, because even Epiphany isn’t the end of this season. In some parishes, the Wise Men have been at the créche since Christmas. In others, they were there for less than 24 hours, set out for Saturday’s Vigil and the whole manger scene taken down by Sunday afternoon, because with Fake Epiphany, we’re done.

It’s like ending Easter with the Ascension (also violently transferred to a Sunday.)

At home, in spite of the inconvenience, we celebrate the party parts of Epiphany on Epiphany. This year I made my first-ever King Cake. I had to give it a cold rise overnight in the fridge, and get up early to bake it before I left for work, but I made it. This year we will chalk ALL the doors, and process around the outside of the house with candles and holy water. We will feast on jambalaya, and there are even some little presents for the littles. We’ll be up a little too late, maybe. But oh well. Epiphany only comes once a year. At the same time, I do wish we could celebrate liturgically on the same day as we have our party. I don’t like disconnecting the solemnness of the liturgy from the other festiveness.

HDOs are inherently inconvenient, (amplified by the inability of some parishes to schedule their holy day Masses at times lay people, with jobs and families, can attend) but I would a thousand times rather deal with the inconvenience of a HDO than the apathy of the transference. A little inconvenience of this sort is good for the soul.

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5 Responses to Real Epiphany

  1. At Walsingham we have Epiphany tonight, and father is blessing chalk. 🙂 I’m just saying… (hint hint.)

  2. Jenny says:

    Yeah, I don’t get why Epiphany and Ascension aren’t HDO, but New Year’s Day and Assumption are.

    I was trying to explain to my husband why New Year’s was a holy day but Epiphany wasn’t because he was perplexed, but there really isn’t a good answer to that question. The message being sent *is* that these things aren’t really important even if they intended the opposite message.

  3. Pingback: Geeky Liturgical Living | On the Care and Feeding of Geeks

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