Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

The date of the Epiphany

Posted by universalis on 1 January 2020

At about this time of year we tend to get a few emails from people who say that we have got the calendar wrong. This is because the solemnity of the Epiphany is celebrated on different dates in different parts of the world. There are two choices:

  • It can be celebrated on January the 6th, the thirteenth day of Christmas. That is why the eve of the Epiphany is called Twelfth Night.
  • It can be celebrated on the Sunday between the 2nd and 8th of January.

Universalis does both. If you set Universalis to use your local calendar, you will see the Epiphany on the right day for you.

Choosing your local calendar

  • If you are using the Universalis web site, look at the “Calendar used” entry at the bottom of the list of dates. If it doesn’t look right, tap on it and you will be given a list of available calendars.
  • If you are using a Universalis app, display the calendar and at the top of the list of dates you will see the name of the currently chosen local calendar. If you want to change the local calendar, tap on that name.
  • If you are using a Universalis program, it is much the same, except that “Change local calendar” is a separate button.

The English transition

Starting in 2018, the bishops of England and Wales switched from the commercial to the religious calendar for the feasts of the Epiphany and the Ascension. For the Epiphany, this has the following effect:

2018: moved from 7 January (the first Sunday after 1 January) to 7 January (Saturday the 6th, transferred to the Sunday) – in other words, NO CHANGE.

2019: moved from 6 January (the first Sunday after 1 January) to 6 January – in other words, NO CHANGE.

2020: moved from 5 January (the first Sunday after 1 January) to 5 January (Monday the 6th, transferred to the Sunday) – in other words, NO CHANGE.

2021: moved from 3 January (the first Sunday after 1 January) to 6 January.

To summarize: the first time you see any difference will be in 2021. But the change is already there in Universalis, and if you are bored or curious, you can use Universalis to look at the calendar for 2021 and see it in action.

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