The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ
The Epiphany - The Forgotten Feast Day
December 9, 2011
By the time January 6th rolls around most of us are weary of celebrations and special events. However, The Feast of the Epiphany, also known as “The Manifestation of Our Lord Jesus Christ” is one of the major feast days of the Church. It is the great Crescendo of the Christmas season.
We are accustomed to the Christmas season beginning the day after Thanksgiving and concluding on December 25th. That is a relatively new Western practice. Traditionally, the season of Christmas begins Christmas Eve, carries through Epiphany on January 6th and concludes the First Sunday after the Epiphany. In the Orthodox Church, Christmas decorations are put up on Christmas Eve, and “Christmas Presents” are opened on January 6th, rather than December 25th. Advent then is kept in the proper perspective of being a penitential season in preparation for the Incarnation of the Son of God on the Feast of the Nativity, which is December 25th.
Recently while watching a Disney cartoon with my son Ian, the characters referred to the day as “Winter Treasure Day”, as opposed to “Christmas”. The holidays (from “Holy Days”) are a great opportunity for Christians to be bold and clear about their faith. It is good for us to know and practice the holidays as Christian Holy Days. In an effort to focus the attention of the Christmas season back on Christ, many Christians are returning to the ancient practice of celebrating the Gifts of the Magi, and the Great gift of Christ himself, at Epiphany rather than only on Christmas morning. No matter how you and your family celebrate the Christmas season, I encourage you to consider remembering the season as the Church presents it, rather than the way advertisers present it.
These are the feast days that we will be celebrating at the Cathedral and Chapel:
December 25th – The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ: 10:30am Sunday
January 1st – The Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ: 8am and 10:30am Sunday.
January 6th The Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles: 6pm Friday in the Chapel.
May you have a blessed Christ Mass, and may the Lord’s manifestation in your life be a blessing to others.
Fr Van McCalister