Today in the Church Year: Jan. 6, 2012

by Jimmy Akin

in +Religion, Liturgical Year

Today is a Friday in Christmas. The liturgical color is white.

In some parts of the world (but not the United States), this is a holyday of obligation (Epiphany). If it is a holyday of obligation in your area, be sure to go to Mass if you didn’t go yesterday evening. (In the U.S. we celebrate Epiphany this Sunday.)

In the Extraordinary Form, it is Epiphany.


Saints & Celebrations:

Today, January 6, in the Ordinary Form in the United States, we celebrate St. Andre Bessette, religious. It is an optional memorial.

In the Extraordinary Form, we celebrate the Epiphany of Our Lord. It is a Class I day.

If you’d like to learn more about St. Andre Bessette, you can click here.

If you’d like to learn more about the Epiphany of Our Lord, you can click here.

For information about other saints, blesseds, and feasts celebrated today, you can click here.



To see today’s readings in the Ordinary Form, you can click here.

Or you can click play to listen to them:


Devotional Information:

According to the Holy See’s Directory on Popular Piety:

Song and Music

17. Song, a natural expression of the soul of any nation, plays an important role in popular piety. The conservation of the received corpus of traditional songs must be linked with a biblical and ecclesial spirit which is open to the possibility, where necessary, of their revision or to the composition of new songs.

Among some peoples, song is instinctively linked with hand-clapping, rhythmic corporeal movements and even dance. Such are external forms of interior sentiment and are part of popular traditions, especially on occasions such as patronal feasts. Clearly, such should be genuine expressions of communal prayer and not merely theatrical spectacles. The fact of their prevalence in one area, however, should not be regarded as a reason for their promotion in other areas, especially where they would not be spontaneous.

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Thibaud January 6, 2012 at 6:06 am

It is also the 600th Anniversary of the birth of saint Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans. Though her feast is set (as it is for most saints) on the day of her death and entering into Heaven on May 30th.

Gail Finke January 6, 2012 at 9:16 am

Is Epiphany really Christmas? I thought it was the day after Christmas.

Michael January 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

I usually attend the extraordinary form of the mass. But I couldn’t make mass this Friday, when the epiphany was celebrated in the extraordinary form. Now if I go to the extraordinary form on Sunday, I will, in some way, be going to mass according to the requirements of the holydays in the u.s. as per the epiphany, but I won’t actually attend an epiphany mass since the extraordinary mass will not be the epiphany mass. Is there any definitive say from the church on how to handle this? It seems to me that the spirit of the law would be that I should try to get to an epiphany mass, but that by the letter of the law I am reall only obliged to attend mass on the day appoointed — just like if I went to an eastern rite mass on the holy day. Am I correct?

TDPelletier January 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm

it’s a great answer. Just go down this page to get Jimmy’s answer.
Actually, there are 2 blog entries that deal with the matter.
I hope this helps.

TDPelletier January 7, 2012 at 3:02 pm

provided you had gone to Mass on Friday, I think that you would have to go again on Sunday (precisely because it is a Sunday) and (for this one I am less sure) because the holy day of obligation in the U.S. is the day of Epiphany *according to the ordinary form*. (The day was set at a time when attending the extraordinary form of the Mass was not foreseen as a (frequent)possibility).

TDPelletier January 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I meant it’s a great *question*. :-)

Jimmy Akin January 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Michael: I’ll do a fuller post, but the bottom line is that you are not obligated to attend an Epiphany Mass this Sunday. You can attend the Extraordinary Form if you choose.

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