We can once again this year make use of the ancient tradition of announcing the date of Easter on the Feast of the Epiphany. In the past, when calendars were not common, it clearly had functional value to give the date and feasts dependant on the date of Easter Day. It still has value as a proclamation of the centrality of the resurrection of Christ in the liturgical year and the importance of the great mysteries of faith which are celebrated each year.
The proclamation may occur after the Gospel, homily, or after the prayer after communion [if blessing chalk (after communion), the earlier options may be preferred so as not to clutter the conclusion of the Eucharist]. It may be sung or said, by the deacon, or other(s).
Here is a version for two lectors. It can be adapted in a number of ways – including being proclaimed by one lector.
Lector 1 stands at the Ambo, Lector 2 stands at the Cantor Lectern
Dear brothers and sisters, the glory of the Lord has shone upon us, and shall ever be manifest among us, until the day of his return.
Through the rhythms of times and seasons let us celebrate the mysteries of salvation.
Let us recall the year’s culmination, the Easter Triduum of the Lord: his last supper, his crucifixion, his burial, and his rising celebrated between the evening of the eighteenth day of April and the evening of the twentieth day of April, Easter Day being on the twenty-first day of April.
Each Easter — as on each Sunday — the Holy Church makes present the great and saving deed by which Christ has for ever conquered sin and death. From Easter are reckoned all the days we keep holy.
Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, will occur on the sixth day of March.
The Ascension of the Lord will be commemorated on the thirtieth day of May.
Pentecost, joyful conclusion of the season of Easter, will be celebrated on the ninth day of June.
And, this year the First Sunday of Advent will be on the first day of December.
Likewise the pilgrim Church proclaims the Passover of Christ in the feasts of the holy Mother of God, in the feasts of the Apostles and Saints, and in the commemoration of the faithful departed.
To Jesus Christ, who was, who is, and who is to come, Lord of time and history, be endless praise, for ever and ever.
Amen. [Amen. Amen.]
Click the link, for those of you interested in the Epiphany chalk house blessing.
Whether you regard the Christmas Season as concluding on Christmas Day, Epiphany, the Baptism of the Lord, Candlemas, the Sunday following Candlemas, or are Orthodox, or Armenian, and celebrate the Incarnation on another day and see the season differently… in the Southern Hemisphere, and certainly in Aotearoa-New Zealand, this is our go-slow time…