Even though we are in the heart of winter, the celebrations of Jesus’ life continue, giving us hope, light, and a sense of anticipation. The twelve days of Christmas have drawn to a close but Epiphanytide is not so much the end of Christmas as a continuation of Christmas. We begin the Christmas season with the revelation of God to His people in the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day and the revelations continue throughout the season of Epiphany until we arrive at the season of Lent. Epiphanytide is all about God revealing himself to us through Jesus. It is a time to rest and reflect.
What is Epiphanytide? What is this mysterious word “epiphany”? Epiphany is from the Greek word “epiphaneia” which means manifestation. An epiphany, by definition, happens suddenly and it reveals the essential nature or meaning of something. Epiphany can also be described as an intuitive grasp of reality through something simple and striking. So what are these epiphanies that the church celebrates from Christmas Day until the end of Epiphany? The Church believes that Jesus is THE revelation of God to us and through that major revelation come more detailed revelations. First and foremost, Jesus’ birth was the revelation of God to Israel, His Chosen People. Next, the visit of the Three Wise Men is the revelation of God to the Gentiles, the baptism of Jesus revealed the Trinity, the miracle of the wedding at Cana revealed Jesus’ glory and the presentation of Jesus in the temple revealed Jesus as the Messiah.
Note: Epiphanytide can also be referred to as Ordinary Time. The name Ordinary Time is often misunderstood. The name in no way means mundane or common. Ordinary Time refers to seasons in the church that show up twice in the liturgical year; once in winter and once in the summer. The word “ordinary” refers to “ordinal” numbers and simply means “time that is ordered”.
Get ready! It's a busy but beautiful season filled with meaning and meaningful traditions. Let us embrace it with wonder and awe!
Follow along as I share everything you’ll need to celebrate this special season, including its history, recipes, and traditions.
Epiphanytide at a Glance with Helpful Links: