The Epiphany Of The Lord
Sunday, January 5, 2020Depending upon the practice of your local diocese or territory
On entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
Epiphany means manifestation. And the Epiphany of the Lord is Jesus manifestation not only to these three Magi from the East, but its also a symbolic but real manifestation of the Christ to the whole world. These Magi, traveling from a foreign and non-Jewish nation, reveal that Jesus came for all people and all are called to adore Him.
These Magi were wise men who studied the stars and were aware of the Jewish belief that a Messiah was coming. They would have been versed in much of the wisdom of the day and would have been intrigued by the Jewish belief in the Messiah.
God used what they were familiar with to call them to adore the Christ. He used a star. They understood the stars and when they saw this new and unique star over Bethlehem they realized that something special was happening. So the first lesson we take from this for our own lives is that God will use what is familiar to us to call us to Himself. Look for the star that God is using to call you. Its closer than you may think.
Lord, I love You and adore You. I lay my life before You and surrender all. You are my Divine King and Savior. My life is Yours. Jesus, I trust in You.
The Solemnity Of The Epiphany Of The Lord
Liturgical Color: White/Gold
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The Feast of the Epiphany has traditionally been considered more theologically important than almost any other Feast Day, including Christmas. The early Christians had only Scripture, not the wealth of tradition we have today, to guide them in marking the great events of the life of Christ. So Holy Week and Easter, the Baptism of the Lord, Pentecost, and Epiphany jumped off the pages of Scripture as great events which merited celebration. These few dates became fixed points on the calendar and were later surrounded over the centuries with numerous other feasts and saints days.
Two lessons from the visit of the Magi are worth considering. The first is that the wise mens gifts were given after Christmas. Many Catholic cultures preserve the ancient tradition of giving gifts on the Epiphany, not on Christmas itself. This tradition separates the birth of Christ from gift giving. When these two thingsthe birth of Christ and the giving of giftsare collapsed into the same day, it causes some confusion of priorities, and the birth of Christ never wins. Waiting to exchange gifts until January sixth lets the Child God have the stage to Himself for a day. It makes people, especially children, wait, a modern day rarity in the Western world. Gift giving postponed until January sixth makes for a long, leisurely Christmas season and has the benefit of tradition and good theology as well.
Epiphany: A Fourfold Feast
Epiphany originally celebrated four different events, in the following order of importance: the Baptism of the Lord Christ’s first miracle, the changing of water into wine at the wedding in Cana the Nativity of Christ and the visitation of the Wise Men or Magi. Each of these is a revelation of God to man: At Christ’s Baptism, the Holy Spirit descends and the voice of God the Father is heard, declaring that Jesus is His Son at the wedding in Cana, the miracle reveals Christ’s divinity at the Nativity, the angels bear witness to Christ, and the shepherds, representing the people of Israel, bow down before Him and at the visitation of the Magi, Christ’s divinity is revealed to the Gentilesthe other nations of the earth.
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The End Of Christmastide
Eventually, the celebration of the Nativity was separated out, in the West, into Christmas and shortly thereafter, Western Christians adopted the Eastern feast of the Epiphany, still celebrating the Baptism, the first miracle, and the visit from the Wise Men. Thus, Epiphany came to mark the end of Christmastidethe Twelve Days of Christmas , which began with the revelation of Christ to Israel in His Birth and ended with the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles at Epiphany.
Over the centuries, the various celebrations were further separated in the West, and now the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on the Sunday after January 6, and the wedding at Cana is commemorated on the Sunday after the Baptism of the Lord.
A Children’s Party For Twelfth Night
The first idea that our celebrations within the family should try to make vivid for the children is the visit of the three Magi. These are such fascinating and mysterious figures, and the whole episode is so dramatic that there are numerous ways in which this can be done. Many families these days give an Epiphany or “Twelfth Night” party at which the traditional dessert is a cake, containing three beans or large nuts. The three people who find the beans in their piece of cake, are hailed as the “Wise Men” and immediately don the most gorgeous robes available. Colorful old drapes become exotic regal apparel, and fine crowns are fashioned from such prosaic materials as round oatmeal boxes covered with aluminum foil. After that the “kings” rule the party for the rest of the afternoon or evening. They choose the games, supervise the refreshments and may demand special favors from their subjects. It may be added that it is important that the hostess plans a program beforehand, especially in the case of small children. Simple place cards with texts from the Epiphany Mass, and meal prayers which include the Epiphany collect, aid in carrying out the theme.
Mass In An Eastern Rite
Seeing in Epiphany the climax of the Christmas season should come quite naturally to the members of an apostolic group. The arrival of the three Magi has since early times symbolized the conversion of the entire world to Christ. The rich liturgy of the feast suggests more than one possibility for a meaningful celebration in an apostolic center, or in a parish or home where members of an apostolic group may meet together. But every practical application must spring from meditation and from renewed contact with the mystery of the manifestation of Christ’s divinity.
One way for gaining fresh insight into Christ’s divine and royal prerogatives is to attend, either on the feast or within the octave, a celebration of the liturgy in an Eastern rite. Attendance at Mass in an Eastern rite should be preceded by study of the Eastern origins of our own Epiphany liturgy and the mentality underlying it. Further study of the separated Eastern churches would make a full and interesting day for an apostolic group–a day which could have a missionary orientation.
The Epiphany Of Our Lordfeast Day: Jan 06
The Epiphany of Our Lord is the Christian feast observed on Jan. 6, 2016. The word epiphany comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means “to shine upon,” “to manifest,” or to make known. Thus, the feast of the Epiphany celebrates the many ways that Christ has made Himself known to the world, mainly the three events that manifested the mission and divinity of Christ: the visit of the Magi , the baptism of Jesus , and the miracle at Cana .
The visit of the Magi is emphasized on Epiphany Day, and Christ’s baptism is celebrated the first Sunday that follows.
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The Meaning Of Epiphany
For many years in the English speaking world the feast of Epiphany has been overshadowed by that of Christmas. But unless we realize the significance of this great day, we see only one side of the mystery of the Incarnation. Now after contemplating the staggering fact that God has become a human child, we turn to look at this mystery from the opposite angle and realize that this seemingly helpless Child is, in fact, the omnipotent God, the King and Ruler of the universe. The feast of Christ’s divinity completes the feast of His humanity. It fulfills all our Advent longing for the King “who is come with great power and majesty.” We see that whereas Christmas is the family feast of Christianity, Epiphany is the great “world feast of the Catholic Church.”
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Each morning, Monday through Saturday at 8:00am before morning Mass, a group of parishioners recite the Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, the Universal Prayer of the Church. The Church considers this prayer to be second in importance only to the Mass itself. The Second Vatican Council has encouraged Lay people to also pray this beautiful liturgy. We invite all who are interested to join with us and we will be happy to assist any who are unfamiliar with the service. At present we say the Morning Hour in the Church. See you there!
From The Epiphany Food PantryThe Epiphany Food Pantry continues to serve our community, and is currently in need of the following items:
Spaghetti Sauce Canned White Potatoes Canned Sweet Potatoes Soup Beans Mac n Cheese
- Sunday Masses: 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am & 6:00pm
- At this time, due to space and time constraints, we will not hold Saturday confessions.
Procession To The Royal Crib
Most important of the offices the three party Magi perform is the bearing of the figures of the three Wise Men on the last stage of their journey which started on Christmas and which ends today, as they find the Child in the crib. The whole party can be made far more meaningful for the children if this is carried out with reverence and solemnity.
First, the children help “enthrone” the Christ-Child as described earlier. Then all the children form in a procession, with the three live Magi in the lead, each bearing the statue whom he represents. The carol, “We Three Kings of Orient Are” provides just the right rhythm for a royal procession, and if the kings happen to be singers, each sings the verse about his particular gift.
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Epiphany In Different Christian Traditions
Epiphany is celebrated by both the Eastern and Western Churches, but a major difference between them is precisely which events the feast commemorates. For Western Christians, the feast primarily commemorates the coming of the Magi, with only a minor reference to the baptism of Jesus and the miracle at the Wedding at Cana. Eastern churches celebrate the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan. In both traditions, the essence of the feast is the same: the manifestation of Christ to the world , and the Mystery of the Incarnation. The miracle at the Wedding at Cana is also celebrated during Epiphany as a first manifestation of Christ’s public life.
K M B 2009
Even before 354, the Western Church had separated the celebration of the Nativity of Christ as the feast of Christmas and set its date as December 25 it reserved January 6 as a commemoration of the manifestation of Christ, especially to the Magi, but also at his baptism and at the wedding feast of Cana. In 1955 a separate feast of the Baptism of the Lord was instituted, thus weakening further the connection in the West between the feast of the Epiphany and the commemoration of the baptism of Christ. However, Hungarians, in an apparent reference to baptism, refer to the January 6 celebration as Vízkereszt, a term that recalls the words “víz” and “kereszt, kereszt-ség” .
Liturgical practice in Western churches
National And Local Customs
Epiphany is celebrated with a wide array of customs around the world. In some cultures, the greenery and nativity scenes put up at Christmas are taken down at Epiphany. In other cultures these remain up until Candlemas on February 2. In countries historically shaped by Western Christianity these customs often involve gift giving, “king cakes” and a celebratory close to the Christmas season. In traditionally Orthodox nations, water, baptismal rites and house blessings are typically central to these celebrations.
Argentina Paraguay And Uruguay
In Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, as in other Latin American countries, the day is called “Día de Reyes” , commemorating the arrival of the Magi to confirm Jesus as son of God. The night of January 5 into the morning of January 6 is known as “Noche de Reyes” and children leave their shoes by the door, along with grass and water for the camel, horse and elephant. On the morning of January 6, they get up early and rush to see their shoes, where they are expecting to find gifts left by the “Reyes” who, according to tradition, bypass the houses of children who are awake. On January 6, a “Rosca de Reyes” is eaten and all Christmas decorations are traditionally put away.
What Does The Name Epiphany Mean
The name Epiphany comes from the Greek epiphaneia, meaning appearance or manifestation, and refers to the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the world. The holiday is also called the Feast of Epiphany, Theophany, or Three Kings Day.
Epiphany, also called Feast of the Epiphany, Theophany, or Three Kings Day, , Christian holiday commemorating the first manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi, and the manifestation of his divinity, as it occurred at his baptism in the Jordan River and at his first miracle, at Cana in Galilee. Epiphany is one of the three principal and oldest festival days of the Christian church . Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and other Western churches observe the feast on January 6, while some Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Epiphany on January 19, since their Christmas Eve falls on January 6.
The festival originated in the Eastern church, where it at first included a commemoration of Christs birth. In Rome, by 354 Christs birth was being celebrated on December 25, and later in the 4th century the church in Rome began celebrating Epiphany on January 6. In the Western church the festival primarily commemorates the visit by the Magi to the infant Jesus, which is seen as evidence that Christ, the Jewish Messiah, came also for the salvation of Gentiles. In the East it primarily commemorates the baptism of Jesus and celebrates the revelation that the incarnate Christ was both fully God and fully man.
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What Is The Epiphany Of The Lord
The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. The magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Savior of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament. The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs”, and acquires Israelitica dignitas
Jesus spoke to them again, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
The Epiphany directs our focus to the times Jesus manifested to the world who He was and therefore calls us to follow Him. It reminds us that the light of Christ draws all men to repentance and salvation through Jesus.