Part VI of his Christmas Oratorio, Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnaubenwas also designed to be performed during the service for Epiphany. Another popular hymn, less known culturally as a carol, is "Songs of thankfulness and praise", with words written by Christopher Wordsworth and commonly sung to the tune "St.
Edmund" by Charles Steggall. A carol used as an anthem for Epiphany is " The Three Kings ". Date of celebration[ edit ] Untilwhen Pope Pius XII abolished all but three liturgical octavesthe Latin Church celebrated Epiphany as an eight-day feast, known as the Octave of Epiphany, beginning on January 6 and ending on January The Sunday within that octave was since the feast of the Holy Familyand Christmastide was reckoned as the twelve days ending on January 5, followed by the January 6—13 octave.
The revision of the General Roman Calendar made the date to some extent variable, stating: Today, The Epiphany of our Lord,  classified as a Principal Feastis observed in some Anglican provinces on January 6 exclusively e. Some, as in Greece, employ the modern Revised Julian calendarwhich until the year coincides with the Gregorian calendarthe one in use for civil purposes in most countries.
Other Eastern churches, as in Russiahold to the older Julian calendar for reckoning church dates. In these old-calendar churches Epiphany falls at present on Gregorian January 19 — which is January 6 in the Julian calendar. Epiphany season In some Churches, the feast of the Epiphany initiates the Epiphany seasonalso known as Epiphanytide.
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In Adventthe Church of EnglandMother Church of the Anglican Communionintroduced into its liturgy an optional Epiphany season by approving the Common Worship series of services as an alternative to those in the Book of Common Prayerwhich remains the Church's normative liturgy and in which no such liturgical season appears. An official publication of the Church of England states: Contemporary use has sought to express an alternative tradition, in which Christmas lasts for a full forty days, ending with the Feast of the Presentation on 2 February.
Some Methodists in the United States and Singapore follow these liturgics. It instead uses the term "Ordinary Time". If a year had more than 24 Sundays after Pentecost, up to four unused post-Epiphany Sundays were inserted between the 23rd and the 24th Sunday after Pentecost.
The Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices, which has received the imprimatur of John Michael D'Arcywith reference to Epiphanytide, thus states that "The Epiphany season extends from January 6 to Septuagesima Sunday, and has from one to six Sundays, according to the date of Easter. White is the color for the octave; green is the liturgical color for the season.
For Western Christians, the feast primarily commemorates the coming of the Magi, with only a minor reference to the baptism of Jesus and the miracle at the Wedding at Cana.
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Eastern churches celebrate the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan. In both traditions, the essence of the feast is the same: The miracle at the Wedding at Cana is also celebrated during Epiphany as a first manifestation of Christ's public life.
Liturgical practice in Western churches[ edit ] Many in the West observe a twelve-day festival, starting on December 25, and ending on January 5, known as Christmastide or the Twelve Days of Christmas. Some Christian cultures, especially those of Latin America and some in Europe, extend the season to as many as forty days, ending on Candlemas February 2.
On the Feast of the Epiphany in some parts of central Europe the priest, wearing white vestments, blesses Epiphany water, frankincensegold, and chalk. The chalk is used to write the initials of the three magi over the doors of churches and homes.
The letters stand for the initials of the Magi traditionally named CasparMelchiorand Balthasarand also the phrase Christus mansionem benedicat, which translates as "may Christ bless the house".
According to ancient custom, the priest announced the date of Easter on the feast of Epiphany.
This tradition dated from a time when calendars were not readily available, and the church needed to publicize the date of Eastersince many celebrations of the liturgical year depend on it. Some Protestant churches, such as the Anglican and Lutheran churches, will follow practises similar to the Catholic Church. Here it is one of the Great Feasts of the liturgical yearbeing third in rank, behind only Paskha Easter and Pentecost in importance.
It is celebrated on January 6 of the calendar that a particular Church uses. On the Julian calendarwhich some of the Orthodox churches follow, that date corresponds, during the present century, to January 19 on the Gregorian or Revised Julian calendar.
The earliest reference to the feast in the Eastern Church is a remark by St. Clement of Alexandria in StromateisI, xxi, And there are those who have determined not only the year of our Lord's birth, but also the day… And the followers of Basilides hold the day of his baptism as a festival, spending the night before in readings.
And they say that it was the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesarthe fifteenth day of the month of Tubi ; and some that it was the eleventh of the same month. If this is a reference to a celebration of Christ's birth, as well as of his baptism, on January 6, it corresponds to what continues to be the custom of the Armenian Apostolic Churchwhich celebrates the birth of Jesus on January 6 of the calendar used, calling the feast that of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord.
In parts of the Eastern Church, January 6 continued for some time as a composite feast that included the Nativity of Jesus: It is also celebrated because, according to tradition, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by St.
John the Baptist marked one of only two occasions when all three Persons of the Trinity manifested themselves simultaneously to humanity: God the Father by speaking through the clouds, God the Son being baptized in the river, and God the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove descending from heaven the other occasion was the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. Thus the holy day is considered to be a Trinitarian feast.
The Orthodox consider Jesus' Baptism to be the first step towards the Crucifixionand there are some parallels in the hymnography used on this day and the hymns chanted on Good Friday. Liturgical practice in Eastern churches[ edit ] This section needs additional citations for verification.
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January Learn how and when to remove this template message Forefeast: The liturgical Forefeast of Theophany begins on January 1, and concludes with the Paramony on January 5. The Eve of the Feast is called Paramony Greek: Paramony is observed as a strict fast dayon which those faithful who are physically able, refrain from food until the first star is observed in the evening, when a meal with wine and oil may be taken. On this day the Royal Hours are celebrated, thus tying together the feasts of Nativity and Good Friday.
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Basil which combines Vespers with the Divine Liturgy. During the Vespers, fifteen Old Testament lections which foreshadow the Baptism of Christ are read, and special antiphons are chanted. John Chrysostom is celebrated and the fasting is lessened to some degree.
Theophany Crucession in Bulgaria. The priests are going to throw a wooden cross in the Yantra river. Believers will then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross.
Following the Divine Liturgythe clergy and people go in a Crucession procession with the cross to the nearest body of water, be it a beach, harbor, quay, river, lake, swimming pool, water depot, etc. At the end of the ceremony the priest will bless the waters.
In the Greek practice, he does this by casting a cross into the water. If swimming is feasible on the spot, any number of volunteers may try to recover the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and their household.
Certain such ceremonies have achieved particular prominence, such as the one held annually at Tarpon SpringsFlorida. In Russia, where the winters are severe, a hole will be cut into the ice so that the waters may be blessed. In such conditions, the cross is not cast into the water, but is held securely by the priest and dipped three times into the water. Greek Orthodox bishop at the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany, releasing the cross off the Glenelg Jetty, South Australiafor one of the swimmers below to retrieve.
The water that is blessed on this day is sometimes known as "Theophany Water", though usually just "holy water", and is taken home by the faithful, and used with prayer as a blessing.
People will not only bless themselves and their homes by sprinkling with holy water, but will also drink it.
The Orthodox Church teaches that holy water differs from regular water in that with holy water, the very nature of the water is changed and becomes incorrupt,  a miracle attested to as early as St. It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year. So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.
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Change It wasn't trendyfunny, nor was it coined on Twitterbut we thought change told a real story about how our users defined Unlike inchange was no longer a campaign slogan. But, the term still held a lot of weight.
Here's an excerpt from our Word of the Year announcement in The national debate can arguably be summarized by the question: In the past two years, has there been enough change?
Has there been too much? Meanwhile, many Americans continue to face change in their homes, bank accounts and jobs. Only time will tell if the latest wave of change Americans voted for in the midterm elections will result in a negative or positive outcome. Tergiversate This rare word was chosen to represent because it described so much of the world around us.
Tergiversate means "to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc. And so, we named tergiversate the Word of the Year. Bluster In a year known for the Occupy movement and what became known as the Arab Spring, our lexicographers chose bluster as their Word of the Year for Here's an excerpt from our release that year that gives a pretty good explanation for our choice: