The custom of baptizing in the rivers when they are annually blessed at Epiphany, the feast of the Lord's baptism, still survives in.
It may be discerned in the interpolations in the prayers; possibly in the reference to the chief deacon, for elsewhere no single deacon is distinguished by name until the close of the 4th century; in the reference to the Epiphany, which is first heard of elsewhere at the beginning of the 4th century.
The Proprium de Tempore contains the office of the seasons of the Christian year (Advent to Trinity), a conception that only gradually grew up. There is here given the whole service for every Sunday and week-day, the proper antiphons, responsories, hymns, and especially the course of daily Scripture-reading, averaging about twenty verses a day, and (roughly) arranged thus: for Advent, Isaiah; Epiphany to Septuagesima, Pauline Epistles; Lent, patristic homilies (Genesis on Sundays); Passion-tide, Jeremiah; Easter to Whitsun, Acts, Catholic epistles and Apocalypse; Whitsun to August, Samuel and Kings; August to Advent, Wisdom books, Maccabees, Prophets.
It was then kept on the 14th of February, forty days after Epiphany, the celebration of the Nativity (Christmas) not having been as yet introduced; the Armenians still keep it on this day, as " the Coming of the Son of God into the Temple."
A canon of a council at Saragossa in 380, forbidding the faithful to be absent from church during the three weeks from the 17th of December to the Epiphany, is thought to be an early reference to Advent.
Besides fasts of an occasional and extraordinary nature, the following are recognized as of stated and universal obligation: - (i) The Wednesday and Friday fasts throughout the year (with the exception of the period between Christmas and Epiphany, the Easter week, the week after Whitsunday, the third week after Epiphany); (2) The great yearly fasts, viz.
- Sundays and week-days between Epiphany and Septuagesima, and between Trinity and Advent, except festivals and their octaves and Ember days.
Amongst the festivals mentioned are the Epiphany, Easter and Pentecost.
Held against Chalcedon, uniting the Baptism and Christmas feasts on the 6th of January (Epiphany), declaring for monophysitism, and adopting in the Trisagion the words "who wast crucified for us."
(1) Usually the water in the font was exorcized, blessed and chrism poured into it, just before the catechumen entered it, (m) Easter was the usual season of baptism, but in the East Epiphany was equally favoured.
The Feast of the Epiphany (Jan.
They were usually set up under a holy tree to commemorate a divine epiphany and were mostly unwrought (Exod.
Certain days seem early to have been set apart as special festivals for different orders of the clergy: the feast of St Stephen (December 26) for the deacons, St John's day (December 27) for the priests, Holy Innocents' Day for the boys, and for the sub-deacons Circumcision, the Epiphany, or the 11th of January.