Epiphany of the Lord
Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts and one of the most important. Historically, Epiphany celebrated four things: Jesus' nativity, the Magi's visit to the Holy Family, Jesus' baptism, and Jesus' first miracle at the wedding feast of Cana. Each biblical event is a “theophany, or epiphany, a special manifestation of Jesus Christ to mankind. The relationship between these events is beautifully described in this antiphon from the Divine Office: "This day is the Church joined unto the Heavenly Bridegroom, since Christ hath washed away her sins in Jordan; the wise men hasten with gifts to the marriage supper of the King; and they that sit at meat together make merry with water turned into wine. Alleluia." In the Latin Church the visit of the Three Kings is the primary focus of Epiphany, symbolizing the revelation of Jesus Christ as a light for the Gentile nations and the Savior born for the redemption of all mankind. Epiphany is January 6th, traditionally marking the end of the 12 days of Christmas; in many U.S. dioceses the liturgical celebration is transferred to the nearest Sunday.