The Cycle

Gradually, most of the Apostolic Churches “unpacked” this nucleus into its component celebrations, spreading throughout the winter calendar. For example:

  1. The Roman Church currently has the following feasts: Nativity (Dec 25); Magi (1st Sunday of January) ; Baptism (2nd Sunday of January); Presentation (Feb 2).
  2. The Armenian Church retains most of these Feasts, including the Nativity of Christ, on Jan 6.
  3. In the Byzantine Churches, as seen below, these feasts have been incorporated into a larger framework which is becoming more and more similar to Pascha. See our calendar for Nativity Services at our Byzantine Catholic Parish
[It should be carefully noted that the celebration of Christmas on the Civil (Gregorian) Calendar’s 7 January by “old calendar Churches” is actually the celebration of December 25. The Julian Calendar Dec 25 currently falls on the Gregorian Calendar’s 7 January.]
The Byzantine Winter Pascha

The Christmas Fast [15 Nov – 24 December]:
The Byzantine six-week Christmas-Fast period is still in a period of development. The 1st, 2nd 3rd & 4th Sundays have Lucan Gospels with themes touching on social justice / God’s love for the poor. E.G.: in 1998: Lk 10: 25-37 (The Good Samaritan); Lk 12:16-21 (The Foolish Grain owner); Lk 13:10-17 (The Crippled Woman); Lk 17: 12-19 (The 10 Lepers).

2nd Sunday before Christmas The Forerunners of Christ
Sunday before Christmas The Genealogy of Christ


The Season of the Epiphanies [25 Dec – 2 Feb]

25 December The Nativity & Adoration by Magi & Shepherds
25 Dec – 4 Jan Fast Free period
26 December Synaxis of the Theotokos
27 December St. Stephen Protomartyr
Sunday after Christmas The Righteous Ones: David the King, Joseph the Betrothed, and James, the Brother of the Lord
1 January The Circumcision
6 January Theophany (Baptism of Christ)
2 February Encounter in Temple (end of the Season of Epiphanies)


As of the present, the Sundays after Christmas have not yet developed a fully set character as have the post-Paschal Sundays. The only fixed observances:

Sunday after Christmas Incarnation themes
Sunday before Theophany Baptismal / Revelation themes
Sunday after Theophany Baptismal / Revelation themes
Fourth Sunday of January Commemoration of all the New-Martyrs & Confessors of the Communist Yoke (OCA)