Happy Epiphany Holiday 2019: known as Three Kings’ Day or Theophany: Epiphany is also known as Three Kings’ Day or Theophany, Epiphany is a feast day in the Christian community celebrating the enlightenment of God that incarnated as Jesus Christ. The word Epiphany means a public display of group feelings and mainly in the Christian community is known as the appearance or presentation of a person.
Happy Epiphany Holiday 2019
The Christians on this day call to remembrance the sacrament of Jesus Christ that took place on the banks of the river Jordan.
The official day observed for the celebration of Epiphany is 6th January. But since 1970, some countries are seen celebrating it on the first Sunday of every year. The Eastern Churches observe the feast on the 19th of January, since the follow the Julian calendar. The countries following the Gregorian calendar also follow the same date. The Monday that comes after the Epiphany is called the Plough Monday.
How To Celebrate Happy Epiphany 2019?
The ways of celebrating the feast consist of carol singing, consuming the Three Kings’ cake, swimming, attending the church services, etc. For the Christians, there is a tradition of taking off the Christmas decorations on the eve of Epiphany, while some remove it at the end of the Epiphany feast day.
The people who forget taking the decorations off on the Epiphany eve should keep it untouched and should take it off at the end of the feast day without any fail. And if still the people fail to do se, the custom is considered to be an inauspicious one. The end of the Epiphany feast day is known as Candle-mas.
The two very well-known carols related to Epiphany
“As with gladness, men of old”, written by William Chatterton Dix, and “We Three Kings of Orient Are” by Reverend John Hopkins, are the two very well-known carols related to Epiphany. Other popular hymn “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise” which is not very much known to people.
Customs followed in the Eastern and Western Churches
Both, the Western as well as the Eastern Churches celebrate this day but in different ways. In the Western Churches, the people celebrate Epiphany welcoming the Magi, only minor part of baptism of Jesus is considered here. Whereas in the Eastern Churches do commemorate the baptism of Jesus Christ.
The Western Churches started celebrating the Christ’s Nativity separately and marked it as Christmas. And since then itself it is been celebrated in the same separate way and has no reference of Christ’s baptism. They decided to celebrate the manifestation of Jesus Christ on 6th of January.
Many people observe the celebration for 12 days, which starts from 25th of January and ends by January 5. Some Christians in the Latin America and Europe extend the celebrations up to 40 days as well. So this celebration goes on till 2nd February, i.e. the Candlemas.
On the feast day, the priests of the European Churches wear the traditional ceremonial gown, blesses the people visiting the Church with Epiphany water. He uses a chalk in order to write the initials of the three Magis on the doors of the Churches and homes.
The names of the Magi are Kaspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Sp their initials, K, M, and B are written on the doors with the white chalk.
The priest also writes a phrase on the doors
“Christus mansionem benedicat”, which means ‘May Christ bless the house’.
In some of the Eastern Churches, the feast is observed on 6th January. It is combined with the Nativity of Jesus Christ. Even though in the 4th century Constantinople considered 25th December to be celebrated as the Christ’s birth, in some part the people consider the Nativity of Christ on 6th January itself.
In the Eastern Churches, the liturgical fore-feast commences on 1st January and ends on 5th January. The Eve of the feast is called a Paramony. Paramony is strictly observed as a fast day. The people having faith in God do not consume any kind of food for the whole day until they see the first star of that evening.
After they see the star, they have their meals that consist of wine and dishes made with oil. On the same day, Royal Hours are celebrated. Royal Hours is a particular solemn celebration of Little Hours in the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches in the Eastern parts of the world.
Royal Hours is celebrated only thrice a year. These are celebrated on the Eve of Nativity, the Eve of Theophany/Epiphany and Good Friday. The Church members chant the verses from the holy bible describing the jealousy and fear of a powerful man while doing the Church service.
Happy Epiphany 2019
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The Royal Hours is a group of five services that are served together:
Blessings of water are performed on the Theophany by the Orthodox Churches. This is done on the eve of the feast and again done on the feast day. On the eve of the feast it is performed inside the Church itself, while at the feast day it is done at a water body. The people go in a procession with the cross to the nearest water body and as the ceremony ends, the priest of the church blesses the water.
Different Ways of Celebration Happy Epiphany 2019
In Greece this ritual is done in a different way. The Priest of the church casts the cross into the water body. From the people taking part in the ceremony, the ones who can swim get into the water and go searching for the cross.
The one finds the cross swims back out of the water body and returns the cross to the priest. The priest then gives a special blessing to the swimmer along with his/her family.
The Epiphany is celebrated in all the countries in many different ways. Very different manifestations of Christ’s glory and Divinity were celebrated in this feast quite early in its history, especially the Baptism, the miracle at Cana, the Nativity, and the visit of the Magi.
But we cannot for a moment suppose that in the first instance a festival of manifestations in general was established, into which popular local devotion read specified meaning as circumstances dictated.
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