The Epiphany of Our Lord and the Sundays after Epiphany


The Epiphany of our Lord may begin with the vigil or evening prayer on January 5. Epiphany is a Fest of Christ with a fixed date of January 6 and marks the celebration of the visit of the Magi. The Epiphany season consist of the Sundays after Epiphany and ends the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

Epiphany is one of the oldest seasons in the Christian Church Year, second only to the Easter season. This season of lights emphasizes Jesus’ manifestation (or epiphany, from the Greek epiphaneia) as God and man. The earliest Christians called the feast of the Epiphany the Theophany (“revelation of God”). When the Gentile Magi come to worship Jesus, they show that everyone now has access to God. Now all people, Jew and Gentile, can come to God’s temple to worship, because Jesus is the new temple: God in the flesh.

The Epiphany season may include as many as nine Sundays, depending on the date of Easter. The season is marked at its beginning and at its end by two important feasts of Christ. On the First Sunday after the Epiphany, the Church celebrates the Baptism of Our Lord. The Father had sent Jesus to bear the sins of the world. So Jesus steps down into baptismal waters so that He can soak up the sins of the world: He is baptized into our sins, so that our Baptism might be into His death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins.

The Feast of the Transfiguration is a significant and uniquely Lutheran contribution to the Christian calendar. This festival commemorates the moment on the Mount of Transfiguration when three of Jesus’ disciples glimpsed their Lord in divine splendor, seeing Him as the center of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). Jesus proclaimed to His disciples, then and now, that He was the long-awaited one who had come to die for the sins of the world and be raised again in glory.

The Epiphany season closes with the three-Sunday long Gesimatide, sometimes called Pre-Lent. See “Gesima Sundays–The Descent into Lent” for more on Gesimatide.

The liturgical color for the Epiphany of Our Lord is white; for the Sundays after the Epiphany it is green.

Propers for Epiphany
and the Sundays After Epiphany

The Epiphany of Our Lord

O God, by the leading of a star You made known Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles. Lead us, who know You by faith, to enjoy in heaven the fullness of Your divine presence; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L11)

Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 24:1-10 (v. 7)
Ephesians 3:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12

The Baptism of Our Lord

Father in heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed Him Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as Your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L12)

Joshua 3:1-3, 7-8, 13-17 or Isaiah 42:1-7
Psalm 85:1-13 (v. 9)
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Matthew 3:13-17

First Sunday after the Epiphany

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of Your people who call upon You and grant that they both perceive and know what things they ought to do and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L13)

1 Kings 8:6-13
Psalm 50:1-15 (v. 15)
Romans 12:1-5
Luke 2:41-52

Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, who governs all things in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the prayers of Your people and grant us Your peace through all our days; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L14)

Exodus 33:12-23 or Amos 9:11-15
Psalm 67:1-7 (v. 1) or Psalm 111:1-10 (v. 9)
Ephesians 5:22-33 or Romans 12:6-16
John 2:1-11

Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Almighty and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities and stretch forth the hand of Your majesty to heal and defend us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L15)

2 Kings 5:1-15a
Psalm 110:1-4 (v. 2a)
Romans 1:8-17 or Romans 12:16-21
Matthew 8:1-13

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Almighty God, You know we live in the midst of so many dangers that in our frailty we cannot stand upright. Grant strength and protection to support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L16)

Jonah 1:1-17
Psalm 96:1-13 (v. 2)
Romans 8:18-23 or Romans 13:8-10
Matthew 8:23-27

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

O Lord, keep Your family the Church continually in the true faith that, relying on the hope of Your heavenly grace, we may ever be defended by Your mighty power; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L17)

Genesis 18:20-33
Psalm 80:1-7 (v. 7)
Colossians 3:12-17
Matthew 13:24-30 (36-43)

The Transfiguration of Our Lord

O God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah. In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshowed our adoption by grace. Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King in His glory and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L21)

Exodus 34:29-35 or Exodus 3:1-14
Psalm 2:1-12 (v. 7)
2 Peter 1:16-21
Matthew 17:1-9

Septuagesima

O Lord, graciously hear the prayers of Your people that we who justly suffer the consequence of our sin may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness to the glory of Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L18)

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 95:1-9 (v. 6)
1 Corinthians 9:24-10:5
Matthew 20:1-1

Sexagesima

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in You, mercifully grant that by Your power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L19)

Isaiah 55:10-13
Psalm 84:1-12 (v. 4)
2 Corinthians 1:18-22 2 or Hebrews 4:9-13
Luke 8:4-15

Quinquagesima

O Lord, mercifully hear our prayers and having set us free from the bonds of our sins deliver us from every evil; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L20)

1 Samuel 16:1-13 or Isaiah 35:3-7
Psalm 89:18-29 (v. 20)
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 18:31-4

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