Baptism of the Lord in Christmas?

Is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord part of the Christmas liturgical season, or is the season’s last day the day before? Thanks.


It marks the final day of the Christmas season. Tomorrow begins ordinary time, and it marked by the return of the liturgical color green.

Thanks. However then, how come next Sunday will be, as far as I know, the “Second Sunday of Ordinary Time” in the liturgical year?


Prior to the revised calendar the Sundays of what is now Ordinary Time were counted as Sundays after Epiphany. The first Sunday after Epiphany was the Feast of the Holy Family. After that the Sundays were referred to as “The Second Sunday After Epiphany”, “The Third Sunday After Epiphany”, and so on.

This convention of numbering these Sundays has continued but with the wording changed to “In Ordinary Time” rather than “After Epiphany”.

Actually the system of numbering Sundays could use some additional explanation but it’s time for me to head off to Mass so I’ll have to leave that to others.

The Baptism is actually the first day of Ordinary Time–it’s also called the “1st Sunday of Ord. Time”, so the second part of your question is the answer.

However, I’m after seeing on the Vatican’s liturgical year page that the entry on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is consistently located within the Christmas subpages. Also, the CTS New Catholic Bible lists it as during Christmastide.


I think you’ll find that the Church doesn’t have the same kind of “either it’s this or it’s that” attitude about Liturgical Seasons.

The Baptism of the Lord marks the end of the Christmas Season and the beginning of Ordinary Time. As such it can be said to belong to both seasons.

I half-suspected that. Thanks!

:confused: What do you mean?


I mean that we tend to think a Sunday must either be in Christmas time or in Ordinary time. The Church doesn’t have that viewpoint. A Sunday fall within both categories.

The Baptism of the Lord is feast celebrated on the first ordinal Sunday counted from after the Epiphany. And it is included as part of the Christmas season.

OK. Thanks a lot for your help!:thumbsup:


so what week are we on in the psalter today, Jan.11, and tomorrow, Jan. 12, and what week will we be on next Sunday, Jan. 18, and Monday Jan. 19?

Tomorrow is Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time. Next Sunday is Second Sunday in Ordinary Time and Monday, Jan. 19 will be Monday in the Second Week in Ordinary Time.

Your point, I presume, is that the week is based on the previous Sunday?

no my point is I just am not sure, but I thought, as you said, that Monday, tomorrow, begins ordinary time, so we would be on Monday of week 1, and begin week 2 with next Sunday Evening Prayer I, but I usually get confused at the transition between the seasons. I figured you would know, Phemie.

Correct me if I am wrong, is there not a case where sometimes the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on the Monday after Epiphany if the time before Lent begins is short?

I knew about the weekdays of O.T. but I, like you, get confused. I went to see what the CCCB had to say in “Celebrating the Season of Christmas” and this is what I found.

The Baptism of the Lord was added to the calendar in 1960 as part of the reforms of Blessed John XXIII. Celebrated on January 13th it was fixed as the end of the Christmas season. This feast is now celebrated on the Sunday (sometimes the Monday) after Epiphany and brings the season to a close; Ordinary Time begins.

I can only assume (and I stand to be corrected) that the years in which it is celebrated on the Monday after Epiphany are those years where the Sunday after Epiphany would be later than January 13, IOW, when Epiphany is celebrated on the 7th or the 8th of January.

The Baptism of the Lord was added to the calendar in 1960 as part of the reforms of Blessed John XXIII. Celebrated on January 13th it was fixed as the end of the Christmas season. This feast is now celebrated on the Sunday (sometimes the Monday) after Epiphany and brings the season to a close; Ordinary Time begins.

Wow, do the Canadian bishops ever have this information wrong!

The feast was placed into the kalendar as the Commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord in 1955 as part of Pius XII’s decree Cum Nostra, which made several reforms to the rubrics and kalendar, most famously the suppression of all octaves except those of Easter, Christmas and Pentecost. It was already in place when the 1960 reforms were made.

Ok folks. This should settle it (as well as contradict what I myself posted earlier):

This is from the Sacramentary; it is a rubric printed on the pages for the Mass of “Sunday after January 6 / Baptism of the Lord”

“Ordinary Time begins on the Monday following this Sunday and continues until the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday…”

So there we have it.

Right after that baptism in week 1 in the psalter.

On the Universal Calendar Epiphany is on January 6 and the Baptism in the Sunday after. In places where they transfer Epiphany to Sunday (like the United States), Epiphany will sometimes fall on the same day as the Baptism is celebrated on the Universal Calendar (eg on January 7th or January 8th). When that happens, those places celebrate the Baptism on Monday.

Christian Prayers says the Epiphany is the first Sunday of OT.

If it isn’t then why is the 18th called the second Sunday of OT.

I would think the Nativity, Epiphany, and infancy narratives would mark the the scriptural end of the Christmas season. I realize that the Baptism of Jesus is considered by many in the Church as part of the Christmas season. However it is the beginning of His public ministry, and, as such I do not find a compelling case for it to be included in the Christmas season.

Along those same lines, Advent used to be considered a penitential season…thus the vestment coloration of purple. Yet the readings are all joyful anticipation of the coming of the Lord with the Nativity.

After reading this thread I’m still somewhat confused! I want to start Catechisis with my family at the beginning of the Liturgical year. Would it make sense to start with the Baptism of the Lord? I like how I can immediately tie it to something my children will understand and have received - Baptism.

I would be grateful for feedback. Also to confirm we wil be in the Liturgy of the Word Year A, is that correct?

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