The Christian Year – We are now in the Season after Epiphany (not the Season “of” Epiphany), the third of the six seasons of the Christian Year (the first two being the seasons of Advent and Christmas). The Season after Epiphany begins on January 7, the day after Epiphany, and lasts until Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Since the date of Ash Wednesday changes each year, the length of the Season after Epiphany also changes. This year, Ash Wednesday will be relatively late (March 1), so the Season after Epiphany will be relatively long — eight Sundays in all. The date of Ash Wednesday changes from year to year as the date of Easter changes, since Lent is a season of fixed length.
The Season after Epiphany is a season of “ordinary time”, which means it has no overall focus or theme (unlike Advent and Christmas). The symbolic color for this season is green (signifying life), the color for ordinary time. However, the first and last Sundays of this season each do have a special focus: the first Sunday after Epiphany commemorates the baptism of Jesus, and the last Sunday after Epiphany commemorates his transfiguration. On both of these Sundays, the theme is the revelation or “manifestation” of Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God, which is similar to theme of Epiphany itself. The symbolic color for both of these Sundays is white, signifying joy and celebration.