10 February 2013

What about Epiphany?

My apologies - this post would have been more timely had it appeared about a month ago. But I've decided against waiting another eleven months to post it!


I've only just discovered Chuck Knows Church, a series of comically informative videos about church customs, especially those of American liturgical churches. I should warn you Godly Play folk that they're not at all Montessorian. But I've gotten a kick out of them.

Here's the first of the series, on the topic of Liturgical Colors:

I quite like the parallel that Chuck draws between Epiphany and Pentecost, one which isn't made in the Circle of the Church Year (Godly Play) lesson. On the other hand, the Godly Play lesson does introduce the less obvious observation that just as Lent prepares us for Easter, so also Easter prepares us for Pentecost. So there are positives to be found in both lessons.

The Circle of the Church Year, like other Liturgical Action lessons, is meant to be adapted to the customs of the church in which you present it. As written, it reduces Christmastide to a single week or even day, and ignores Epiphany altogether. That works reasonably well if you're in a tradition or denomination which goes straight into Ordinary Time after Epiphany, but is more problematic for those of us in the Church of England, for example, who observe Epiphanytide (and use white as our liturgical color) right the way up until Candlemas in early February. Repainting the blocks would be simple enough, but adapting the words of the script is trickier.

artwork done by a young teen during Response Time

I'd be interested to hear from those of you who observe Epiphanytide: How do you present the Circle of the Church Year?

(For what it's worth, here's what I've done in the past.)


  1. That's pretty funny! It does get a bit confusing from tradition to tradition, doesn't it? The Lutheran Church here has white until Epiphany and then it reverts to green, so that's what we do. And because my script is in German that has already adapted the story to our two state churches, it makes it easier.: )

    1. Yeah, that sounds like what the Finnish Lutherans do as well. And since we were being served by Finnish clergy some of the time and Anglicans some of the time it was potentially very confusing!! But at least that made me feel better about being especially vague at that point. :D Now, though, I'm intrigued to know what straight C of E folk do.


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