Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Happy feast of the Epiphany!
The celebration of the feast of the Epiphany (the word means manifestation) on January 6 is very ancient indeed. It is traditionally one of the great feasts around which the Church year is traditionally arranged, not just consigned to a convenient Sunday, as in Australia, putting a premature end to the Christmas season.
The Feast actually encompasses three different 'manifestations' of our Lord's divinity: the visit of the Wise Men from the East (the primary focus of the liturgy); the baptism of Our Lord by St John the Baptist; and the changing of wine into water at the wedding feast of Cena.
It is also rich with devotional traditions, including the blessing of holy water (of the 'super-charged' variety!), frankinsense, gold and chalk (to be used in the annual blessing of your house).