Electric Prayer

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

The Epiphany again

Posted by universalis on 6 January 2023

Some people get into a terrible flap after the Epiphany, and six years out of seven they write to us to say that we have got the readings wrong. So this post really ought to appear every year.

In religious parts of the world the Epiphany is celebrated when it always has been: on the 6th of January, when good children get presents from the Kings. In more commercial parts of the world the Epiphany is moved to the Sunday after New Year’s Day, so that the Twelve Days of Christmas become the Eight Days or the Fourteen Days.

The reason for all the panic is that a day such as Saturday 7 January 2023 has different readings depending on where you are. In religious countries (including England and Wales) it is 7 January, the first day after the Epiphany. In commercial countries (including Scotland and the USA) it is the day before Epiphany Sunday, normally labelled “7 January (before Epiphany)” in the books. Everything gets back into step on Tuesday 10 January 2023, which is Tuesday of week 1 in Ordinary Time.

Here is a complete table of the days around this time, so that you can see where you are.

Day Religious calendar Commercial calendar    
Friday 6 January Epiphany

6 January (before Epiphany)

Saturday 7 January 7 January 7 January (before Epiphany)    
Sunday 8 January The Baptism of the Lord Epiphany    
Monday 9 January Monday of week 1 The Baptism of the Lord    
Tuesday 10 January Tuesday of week 1 Tuesday of week 1    

If you are using a Universalis program or app, or even the Universalis web site, and you find the readings out of step with what you expect, then check your calendar setting.

  • The web site will use the General Calendar unless you tell it which other calendar to use.
  • The apps and programs will try to guess where you are from your device’s settings, but you can change the local calendar from the screen that shows the list of dates.

Here is a more detailed explanation of how the calendar works at this time of year.

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