Sunday, January 6, 2008
The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Double of the I Class (1954 Calendar): January 6
First Class (1962 Calendar): January 6

For the traditional readings and prayers at Mass on the Epiphany, please click here.

The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated each year by the Church on January 6, after having just concluded the 12 days of Christmas. On this day, and for the next seven days, we remember the three manifestations of our Lord:
  1. To the Magi who, guided by the great and mysterious Star of Bethlehem, came to visit Him when He was a Baby (Matthew 2:1-19)
  2. Through His Baptism by St. John, when "the Spirit of God descending as a dove" came upon Him and there was heard a voice from Heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1), and all Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity were manifest (Note: the Baptism of Our Lord is also commemorated by a special Gospel reading on the 13th of January, traditionally the Octave Day of the Epiphany)
  3. Through His first public miracle -- that of the wedding at Cana when Our Lord turned water into wine at the request of His Mother (John 2). Just as God's first miracle before the Egyptian pharaoh, through Moses, was turning the waters of the Nile into blood, Our Lord's first miracle was turning water into wine.
The Feast of the Epiphany is a culmination for the Christmas season and one of the major Christian feastdays in the entire Church year. It was a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States until 1885.

The Importance of the Epiphany

As John Rotondi noted, "The Epiphany of Our Lord is the central feast of the Incarnation cycle, which runs from the First Sunday of Advent to Candlemas. Epiphany is not the end, but the apex of this cycle; it brings to full fruition the expectation of Advent’s “Veni, Domine.” Epiphany fulfills Christmas; Our Lord was born in the stillness of the night and manifested His birth only to a few; the Epiphany recounts Our Lord manifesting Himself, human and divine, to the whole world, from which point, His salvific mission begins.:

And Restore the 54 similarly states, "The Epiphany celebrates singularly and simultaneously, and continuously over all eight days, the three great manifestations of Our Lord's Incarnation - the adoration of the Magi, Our Lord's Baptism in the Jordan, and His first miracle at Cana. The Magnificat antiphon at Second Vespers explicitly bears this out. It's not just about the 'Three Kings' or some little afterthought to 'end' Christmas. Epiphany is the greatest feast of the Incarnation Cycle." 

Octave of the Epiphany

Today is the beginning of the Octave of the Epiphany which is kept in the 1954 Calendar. This season of Epiphanytide will last after the completion of the Octave Day on January 13th until the season of Septuagesima begins.

Epiphany Day Customs


O God, who by the direction of a star didst this day manifest thy only Son to the Gentiles: mercifully grant that we, who now know thee by faith, may come at length to see the glory of thy Majesty. Through the same, etc.

1 comment(s):

del_button January 6, 2007 at 9:00 PM
Anonymous said...

this day in the eastern rite is the day to open your gifts. Make a gift of your self to the lord

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