Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) is the primary worship and liturgical guidebook and hymnal for the ELCA. The ELW and its resources specifically state that Epiphany is a day and not a season. Some would disagree, myself included. The Feast of the Epiphany is on January 6, but the readings for each of the following weeks leading up to Lent all follow a similar theme: they have to do with light and the continuing revelation of Christ. This, of course, starts with the visit of the Magi to Jesus in Bethlehem. This week, we will hear about Jesus standing up to read the holy scripture in the synagogue. He reads from the prophet Isaiah of the Anointed One who will come, and reveals to the congregation that he is the one in whom this scripture is fulfilled. What a perfect name “Epiphany” is for such a season of revelations!
I recently encountered an Epiphany album produced by the choir of St. Mark’s Cathedral (Episcopal) in Seattle, titled “How Brightly Shines the Morning Star: Music for Epiphany”. It features hymns, choir anthems, and organ music based on the various themes and readings from the Epiphany season, from traditional Lutheran chorales, like “Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam” (Baptism of Our Lord) and “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (which identifies Jesus as the morning star), to old favorite choral pieces like “Behold a star from Jacob shining” by Felix Mendelssohn and “Now there lightens upon us” by Leo Sowerby.
There are a number of tracks available on Youtube, which I have linked below. This album is providing me with a soundtrack for the season, and I hope these few selections prove to be meaningful, uplifting, and revelatory to you this week.
“Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam” : https://youtu.be/VXcOotke5eQ
“The Three Kings” by Healey Willan : https://youtu.be/1VotSEwgf8Q
“Behold a star from Jacob shining” by Felix Mendelssohn : https://youtu.be/r4kKD_t7Y2U
Blessings, and Happy Epiphany!