Epiphany

The three Wise Men

When is Epiphany?
The Feast of the Epiphany is on January 6th and the season lasts from January 6th until February 2nd which is Candlemas, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. 

What does 'Epiphany' mean?
The name Epiphany comes from the Greek epiphaneia meaning to show or appear.

Why do we celebrate Epiphany?Epiphany
Epiphany is the time when we celebrate the appearance of the kings or wise men, the Magi, (named Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar) bringing gifts for the baby Jesus.

The Story
A long way from Bethlehem to the east some wise men saw a bright new star They believed that this was a sign that a new ruler had been born and was to be King of the Jews. So they followed the star which eventually led them to Jesus at Bethlehem. There is no record of how many of them there were, but it is thought that there were only three because of the three gifts mentioned. These gifts were seen as representing different aspects of Jesus' life: 

Gold - a valuable metal suitable for a king, reminding us that Jesus is King of Kings. 
Frankincense - a sweet smelling incense used in the temple to worship God reminding us that Jesus is God.
Myrrh - a fragrant spice put on dead bodies before they were buried, reminding us that Jesus was to die so that he could be our Saviour.

The church colour for Epiphany is white (or gold) and is used for the light, joy and purity of Christ. The frontal on the altar, the altar cloths, the pulpit fall and the Bible book mark are changed to match the colour of the priest's robes.