Ask Ambrose: Themes in Epiphany

Dear Ambrose:  I realize that Epiphany is not really a season, as such. What are some of the themes in this time? I’m thinking primarily of hymns and anthems. Signed, Confused

Dear Confused: You are right that these Sundays after the Epiphany don’t constitute a season quite like Advent or Lent or Easter is a season. You will note that the color for these Sundays is green which indicates Ordinary Time. Once the Feast of the Epiphany is over, you should be looking at music which speak of Jesus as the light of the world. The Third Song of Isaiah (Arise, your light has come) is appropriate. The Lutheran hymnal has a metrical setting of this canticle to the tune Festal Song. The readings for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany are rich in imagery from the wedding at Cana to Paul’s letter about spiritual gifts. The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany has Paul’s wonderful letter about love. There are too many choices to count with that reading. The Sixth Sunday brings us the Beatitudes and the Last Sunday after the Epiphany has the story of the transfiguration which is rich in imagery. On this Last Sunday singing as many hymns with alleluias is much desired as they will cease in Lent. Some parishes “bury” the alleluia following the service and “resurrect” it on Easter Day.