Thursday, January 7, 2010

So It Depends on How You Count.

I was prompted by a reader to post a little more information about Epiphany. I had never done the counting and just celebrated the day with my church and enjoyed the worship service recognizing the holiday. So when you count you might think that actually January 5th is the 12th day of Christmas, but in my church we count it to the 6th.

I found an article that explains a little about the calculation and will post a link to it, but wanted first to share two parts.

"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 is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth Day. In following this older custom of counting the days beginning at sundown, the evening of January 5th is the Twelfth Night. This is an occasion for feasting in some cultures, including the baking of a special King's Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany. In some church traditions, only the full days are counted so that January 5th is the Eleventh Day of Christmas, January 6th is the Twelfth Day, and the evening of January 6th is counted as the Twelfth Night."

This is the article if you are interested.

And as a final note, my favorite thing about the Sunday when we would celebrate Epiphany was the singing of the hymn "We Three Kings!" Its a good one.

"... Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." Matthew 2:1,2

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3 comments:

Q, La, and Gooner said...

This IS interesting!

Brittney Galloway said...

Thanks so much for this! That is so interesting!

Callie Nicole said...

Wow, I hadn't heard of that before - interesting! I'm glad I kept my tree up until the sixth then, but I guess I should have waited one more day to take it down!