Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Epiphany of our Lord

In England at least, today is the transferred solemnity of the Epiphany.

The word "epiphany" translates from the original Greek as "appearance" or "manifestation", hence the ordinary English usage of "having an epiphany" when something becomes clear.

For the Western Church, the emphasis of the Epiphany is the visitation of the Magi to the baby Jesus, while the Eastern emphasis is on Jesus' baptism.

It is clear that the Epiphany is a very old observance, indeed St Gregory preached on the day at least as early 380.