Epiphany is the day Christians remember the coming of the Magi to visit Jesus, bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It occurs on Jan. 6 every year, the 13th day of the Christmas season. The word "epiphany," from the Greek word epiphania, means appearance or manifestation or 'to reveal.'
It remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King. The arrival of these visitors was a sign that the incarnation of God in Christ had been made known and was recognized by the heavens to the whole world, so that even Gentile wise men from the East came to pay him homage. This is an observance of great majesty, solemnity and awe. An even more ancient Christian celebration than Christmas, Epiphany originally focused on the nativity, God’s incarnation (God made flesh) in the birth of Jesus Christ, and Christ’s baptism. After the late fourth century, as Advent developed as a season of baptismal preparation in addition to Lent, Epiphany became associated with baptism. This is why we see images of the three Magi on many older baptismal fonts.
Epiphany is the climax of the Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from December 25th until January 5th.
The colors of Epiphany are usually the same colors of Christmas, white and gold, the colors of celebration, newness, and hope that mark the most sacred days of the church year. Epiphany colors extend to January 8 to celebrate the baptism of the Lord.
from the First United Methodist Church of Pryor Oklahoma
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