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The Epiphany

Pendant

This is a symbol recognizing that you have revealed your “self”  to Jesus Christ through your own Christianity.

Epiphany comes from a Greek verb meaning “to reveal” , “to show”.  The word epiphany means appearance or manifestation* .

The Wise Men or Magi who brought gifts to the child Jesus were the first Gentiles to acknowledge Jesus as “King” and so were the first to “show” or “reveal” Jesus to a wider world as the incarnate Christ. This act of worship by the Magi, which corresponded to Simeon’s blessing that this child Jesus would be “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32), was one of the first indications that Jesus came for all people, of all nations, of all races, and that the work of God in the world would not be limited to only a few.

The Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the oldest Christian feasts, though, throughout the centuries, it has celebrated a variety of things. The various events celebrated by the Feast of the Epiphany are revelations of Christ to man. Like many of the most ancient Christian feasts, Epiphany was first celebrated in the East, where it has been held from the beginning almost universally on January 6. Today, among both Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, the feast is known as Theophany—the revelation of God to man.

Epiphany originally celebrated four different events, in the following order of importance: The Baptism of Christ. Christ’s first miracle. The Nativity of Christ, and The visitation of the Three 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; The changing of water into wine 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 Gentiles—the other nations of the earth.

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 Christmastide—known as the Twelve Days of Christmas, which began with the revelation of Christ to Israel at His Birth and ended with the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles at Epiphany.

The colors of Epiphany are usually the colors of Christmas, white and gold, the colors of celebration, newness, and hope that mark the most sacred days of the church year.

The day is now observed as a time of focusing on the mission of Jesus in reaching others by “showing” Jesus as the Savior of all people. It is also a time of focusing on Christian values in the community and fellowship.

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