Monday, January 5, 2009

Celebrating Epiphany...

It's not just a random end to the Christmas season, after which we can "officially" take down the decorations and go back to real life. Epiphany is a holiday celebration in its own right.

Going back to the book we mentioned in the second post of this little blog, 52 Ways to Make Christmas Special, let's take a look at what the author has to say about Epiphany.

Epiphany falls on January 6, the twelfth night of the twelve days of Christmastide. Indeed, Epiphany is sometimes called Twelfth Night.

"Manifestation" Epiphany literally means "manifestation" or "coming to light." It is the time set aside by the western church for celebrating the Magi's heeding of the message they perceived in a brilliant star in the east. The event is regarded as the manifestation of Christ to the Gentile world....

Epiphany is an excellent day to turn your meditative thoughts to the manifestations of the Lord in your own life.

Epiphany is also a day for recalling the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus, whom they regarded as a new king. They presented gold, a symbol of kingship; frankincense, the incense that symbolized His priesthood; and myrrh, the expensive embalming ointment that symbolized His eventual death...

Gift Giving on Epiphany Epiphany is a ideal day for giving a special gift to someone you dearly cherish. Make your love manifest. In many Latin American countries, gifts are not exchanged until Epiphany. You may not feel comfortable doing that in your family, but you may want
to hold back one gift for opening on Epiphany. It may be a gift of a spiritual nature--such as a new Bible, prayer book, hymnal, inspirational book or journal, or a piece of jewelry or art with religious symbolism.

You may want to make Epiphany your time for remembering the clergy in your church with a gift. Thank them for being "prophets, priests, and kings" -- those who preach the word, pray for and minister to the people, and have spiritual authority--in your life and that of your local

Epiphany is also a good time for making a trip to visit someone you haven't seenin a while. Bring tidings of great joy. Make your presence a gift to a friend or relative or homebound member of your church congregation.

Epiphany has many wonderful concrete and symbolic aspects to its celebration. Don't miss out by ending your holiday season too soon!

Since it IS a little late for holding back a Christmas gift until Epiphany, consider leaving a special written gift for someone you love... a blessing, a Scripture, a short note telling them why THEY are a gift from God to you.