On “The Anglo-Catholic” blog comes this short discussion on Celebrating the Epiphany on January 6th. The question there is whether the new Anglican Ordinariates will be allowed to continue to celebrate Epiphany on January 6th or will they be required (in those countries where the Bishops Conference has so determined, such as Australia) to move the feast to the nearest Sunday.
Apart from that question, which really doesn’t concern me, the question of how to celebrate the Epiphany in our homes is, I think, an important one apart from the question of when the feast is officially celebrated in the region to which we belong. This came up yesterday and the day before in our home devotions when we marked the last day of Christmas (Twelfth Night) and the Epiphany on their traditional days.
I have always tried to instill in the girls an understanding that Christmas is a full 12 day festival, only ending with the coming of the wise men at the Epiphany. Only now do we bring down the Christmas tree and other decorations. This rhythm is very important, I think. I can understand why the Church has shifted the feast to the Sunday – as a day of obligation, you would really have Buckley’s of getting anyone to turn up on a weeknight in the middle of the January summer holidays in Australia. Even the Lutheran Church generally takes the option of shifting the feast to Sunday so that the full story gets told to the whole people of God. But I don’t think this should stop us from celebrating January 6th as it is supposed to be celebrated, any more than we should stop the English celebrating St George’s day just because it isn’t on the Calendar any more.
A minor note is that in these days the Orthodox have their annual blessing of the waters – which fits right in with the Summer Holidays down under. The competition is for strapping young Greeks to dive into the ocean to retrieve the cross that the priest throws off the jetty at the blessing. A popular event that always gets a picture in the paper.