We will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany on Thursday, January 6th at 6:00 p.m.
The Feast of the Epiphany is one of the seven principal feasts in the church year. It is always celebrated on January 6 and begins the Season of Epiphany. Depending on the date of Easter, the season of Epiphany lasts anywhere from four to nine weeks. Green is the color for the season of Epiphany while white is the color for the Feast of the Epiphany. This year the season of Epiphany will last until Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
The Epiphany is one of the earliest feast days. It is even older than Christmas. It was established by the late 2nd century. Originally it was a celebration of Jesus’ nativity and baptism. Later those two events were given separate feast days. In the Eastern Church the Epiphany is still celebrated as the baptism of Jesus. In the West we celebrate the Epiphany as the manifestation of Christ’s divine nature. We always celebrate the baptism of Jesus on the first Sunday after the Epiphany.
Epiphany comes from the Greek word epiphaino. Epi means “upon” and phaino is translated as “to shine” or “to produce light,” “to become visible, appear,” “to become known, be recognized, be apparent, be revealed.”
When we think of the Epiphany we probably most often think of the star and the magi or wise men. But the Epiphany is a feast of our Lord’s life. It is a feast about Jesus not the star or the magi and their gifts. The star and the magi are simply our guides or pointers to Christ. The Epiphany celebrates the manifestation of Jesus’ divine nature and this takes place through his humanity. It is through Jesus’ humanity—the same humanity that is ours—that we see and experience God.
In celebrating the Epiphany we are asking God, who by the leading of a star manifested his Son to the peoples of the earth, to lead us to God’s presence where we may see God’s glory face to face, that Christ may be manifest in us, and our lives may be a light to the world. Not only are we illumined by the light of Christ we become illumination and our lives become epiphanies of Christ for each other.