What is Epiphany, anyway?

Posted in Faith

This Wednesday (6 January, 2016) is Epiphany – you can see it marked in this year’s Uniting Church SA calendar (soon to be available online) and in the Uniting Church in Australia’s lectionary readings for 2015-2016.

But what is Epiphany, anyway?

Epiphany, which is also known as Theophany or Three Kings’ Day, is an occasion where Christians celebrate the revelation/manifestation (epiphany) of Christ. It particularly commemorates the occasion of the Magi visiting Christ as a child; this represents the physical manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles.

The traditional date for these celebrations is 6 January. For many, it marks the end of a 12-day festival – known as the Twelve Days of Christmas (like the song!) or Christmastide – which begins on Christmas Day.

Epiphany is mainly celebrated in Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican churches, but other Christian congregations will sometimes choose to mark the occasion. There are a number of different traditions observed for Epiphany, which tend to vary between denominations.

If your congregation or faith community has a special Epiphany tradition, please contact the New Times editorial team – we’d love to hear about it! Please leave a comment or email us at Turn on Javascript!

 


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