Happy Friday! Happy Epiphanytide! It’s unusual to have such a long beginning to the Epiphany season, having a whole week between the Day (January 6th) and the first Sunday. It’s as if the wise men are staying to party with the holy family extra long this year 🙂
As we look ahead at the next few weeks, a succession of major feast days await us. The two remaining this month are both on Fridays: the Confession of Saint Peter on the 18th and the Conversion of Saint Paul on the 25th. The former was not in the historic prayer books, but now adorns our modern calendar. If your church has a regular Friday worship service, these two holidays stand as special opportunities to celebrate the work of the Gospel in the New Testament as well as to flesh out the Epiphany season even further.
For, although we don’t know the dates of the original events – when Peter declared “you are the Christ, the son of the living God”, and when Paul encountered the risen Christ on the road to Damascus – it is appropriate that we celebrate these critical gospel moments during the Epiphany season. Both of these holidays celebrate epiphanies, revelations, or showings of who Jesus is. They fit right in to the season’s traditional overarching theme.
Eight days after that will be February 2nd, a Saturday, when the feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and the Purification of Mary is observed. That is the 40th day after Christmas, matching the event being 40 days after the birth of Jesus. We’ll hear more about that when it draws near, but it’s good to mark one’s calendar ahead of time so these major holidays of the church year don’t surprise us when they arrive.