The Season Of Christmas And Epiphany
Introduction To Epiphany And Christmas Worship
The waiting of advent soon turns to celebration of Christmas and Epiphany: Christ is born, the Word is made flesh. The communities of worshiping believers can be heard singing the angels’ song: “Glory to God in the Highest. ” This is a season of cellebration; it is a season of mystery. For it is during Christmas and Epiphany that Christians marvel at the amazing love of Jesus, who became human for our sake. The secular world ends Christmas on December 25. However, in the ancient church Christmas began on December 25 and ended on January 6, Epiphany. This section introduces the reader to the origins and theological themes of the Christmas season and urges a recovery of this season in the contemporary church.
Resources For Planning Christmas And Epiphany Worship
Christmas worship should be festive and joyous, expressing the themes of Incarnation and birth, themes which inaugurate the special announcement that salvation has come, that God is with us, that the time has been fulfilled. The resources of this section help the church capture these themes and the joy they bring to the people of God.
- Lectionary Texts From Christmas To Epiphany
- Traditional Opening Prayers For Christmas Worship
- Prayers For Christmas Worship
- A Creed For Christmas Worship
- A Dramatic Reading For Christmas
- Litany For Christmas Sunday
- The Blessing Of The Crèche
- An Entrance Rite For Epiphany
- Prayers For Epiphany
- Prayers Of Thanksgiving For Christmas And Epiphany Eucharist
- Blessings For Christmas And Epiphany Worship
The Arts From Christmas To Epiphany
Christmas is a time of pageantry, for drama, musicals, special dramatic services, and joyous festivity. Consequently there is more worship material available for the Christmas season than any other season of the church year. The arts may be used effectively as servants of the Christmas text in the music of the Entrance, in dramatic readings and presentations of Scripture, in sermons, in processions and recessions, and in special services such as Christmas Eve or Epiphany. Some practical suggestions are made in this section.
Sample Services For Christmas And Epiphany
The entries in this section demonstrate the richness of the Christmas season. All congregations interested in worship renewal should examine the following services, which combine innovative and traditional ideas for Christmas, New Year, and Epiphany celebration.
The Season After Epiphany
As discussed in this section, the time after Epiphany may be as short as four weeks and as long as eight weeks, depending on the date of Easter. The best way to calculate the Sundays of this time is to use a Christian calendar available in any local Christian bookstore or online. The time after Epiphany is marked by two special events, one on the first Sunday, the other on the last. The first Sunday celebrates the baptism of the Lord and he last his transfiguration, a clear example of an epiphany. Although August 6th is the traditional date for the celebration of the Transfiguration, the Common Lectionary allows for both options. The arrangement of lectionary texts for the season after Epiphany is laid out well for those who like to preach a series of sermons on a particular book. It is also a good season for evangelism and missions, since the theme of the texts continue to express various ways in which is manifested as the one who has come to save the world.