Saturday, January 7, 2012

Epiphany

Epiphi-what? An epiphany is a "revealing", a manifestation of meaning otherwise obscured. I've heard the exclamation "I've had an epiphany!" at various times throughout my life, but as a Protestant, I've never really known what the actual day is supposed to be celebrating. So here's what I found out: Epiphany is technically the 12th day of Christmas (yes, its true, there are actually 12, just like that old timey Christmas carol says). But the day is not about 10 lords a'leaping or 7 swans a'swimming (though in the Orthodox tradition, swimming is apparently very much a part of the festivities). On this day, also known as Theophany, a priest will throw a cross into a body of water & the men will go out to "save" it. Whoever finds it gets a blessing. These guys are the original Polar Bear Club. Apparently this tradition is associated with the waters of baptism (among other things over the years). Dig those crazy Orthodox.

Epiphany in the Latin Rite celebrates the wise men's arrival (or "Three Kings Day"). In short, its about Christ not only being born to the Jews, but being made manifest to the Gentiles as well (exemplified in the presence of the Magi from foreign lands). I guess that's reason to celebrate...

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