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What is Epiphany?

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What is Epiphany? Historically, Epiphany is an older holiday than Christmas. Originally, Christians celebrated both the birth and the baptism of Christ on January 6, as well as the visit of the Magi. But gradually, Christmas became the holy day which is aknowleged by more Christians for celebrating Christ’s birth. Epiphany is a further fulfillment of the Incarnation, Jesus making God known to humans not only through His birth, but also through His baptism, which was the beginning of His ministry and the time when the Holy Spirit announced His divinity in public. The liturgical Epiphany season, which begins on January 6, extends to Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The liturgical color for Epiphany is white, symbolizing the joy of Christ’s coming and His purity revealed to the world. The Epiphany season marks the revelation of God’s gift of Christ to all humanity. Epiphany means “manifestation” or “coming to light” or “appearance.” During this season we are particularly aware of those ways in which Christ’s power and purpose become convincingly understood to all those who saw and heard and of those ways in which Christ reaches out to all people everywhere. Jesus himself set the agenda for Epiphany when, early in His ministry, He read to the gathered worshipers in the synagogue: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4: 18-19)
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