Updated: Mar 13
With the celebration of Epiphany, a whole new season begins, Epiphanytide. Epiphanytide is not so much the end of Christmas as a continuation of Christmas. We began the Christmas season with a revelation, the revelation of God to His people in the birth of Jesus Christ, and throughout Epiphanytide the revelations of who Jesus is will continue until we begin the season of Lent.
So, what is Epiphanytide, and 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.
What are the epiphanies that the church celebrates from Christmas Day until the end of Epiphany? Well, first of all, the church believes that Jesus was THE revelation of God to us, and through that major revelation came more detailed revelations. Jesus’ birth was the revelation of God to Israel, the visit of the Three Wise Men was 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.
Ways to Celebrate Epiphanytide
We receive revelations through the Father by studying his word and by spending time in prayer. Commit personally and as a family to spend time in God’s Word and to spend time in prayer. Here is a simple daily prayer guide I created to help get you started:
The church gives us the opportunity to mark these revelations and celebrate them as feast days. Celebrate the special holy days of the season with your family. Read the collect and scriptures for the day, and talk about what this reveals about Jesus and what it means for our lives. Make the special foods or do the special activities.
Epiphanytide is such a beautiful season. It is a time to rest and reflect after the busyness of Advent and Christmas and to really focus on the light of God’s revelation through his son, Jesus Christ. And just as we will see later in the season with the confession of St. Peter, we do not receive revelations through “flesh and blood but through our Father in heaven”. What a wonderful thing to know about God’s revelations, that they are freely given, we just have to receive them!
So, here's to a season of slowing down, opening our hearts, and making space to receive all that God would like to reveal to us!