Definition of Epiphany
Epiphany Season

Definition of Epiphany:
The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or even "to reveal." In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King. In some Central and South American countries influenced by Catholic tradition, Three Kings’ Day, or the night before, is the time for opening Christmas presents. In some eastern churches, Epiphany or the Theophany commemorates Jesus’ baptism, with the visit of the Magi linked to Christmas. In some churches the day is celebrated as Christmas, with Epiphany/Theophany occurring on January 19th.

Epiphany Season and Colors: The colors of Epiphany are usually the colors of Christmas, white and gold, the colors of celebration, newness, and hope. After January 7, the color changes to green until Transfiguration Sunday (February 14), the last Sunday before the beginning of Lent. The colors for Transfiguration Sunday are usually white and gold.

As with most aspects of the Christian liturgical calendar, Epiphany has theological significance as a teaching tool in the church. The Wise Men or Magi who brought gifts to the child Jesus were the first Gentiles to acknowledge Jesus as "King" and so were the first to "show" or "reveal" Jesus to a wider world as the incarnate Christ. This act of worship by the Magi, which corresponded to Simeon’s blessing that this child Jesus would be "a light for revelation to the Gentiles" (Luke 2:32), was one of the first indications that Jesus came for all people, of all nations, of all races, and that the work of God in the world would not be limited to only a few. (Dennis Bratcher Copyright © 2009, CRI / Voice, Institute)

Lectionary Text for Epiphany

Epiphany of the Lord: No commentary, Scriptures are for personal reading.
January 6, 2010: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12

First Sunday after Epiphany, Baptism of the Lord
January 10, 2010: Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Second Sunday after Epiphany
January 17, 2010: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11

Third Sunday after Epiphany
January 24, 2010; Nehemiah 8:1-3,5, 6, 8-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a; Luke 4:14-21

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
January 31, 2010; Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71: 1-6; 1 Corinthians 31:1013; Luke 4:21-30

Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
February 7, 2010; Isaiah 6:1-6, (9-13); Psalm 138; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11

Transfiguration Sunday
February 14, 2010; Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

Lectionary text for Epiphany from Lectionary Library.

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