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Epiphany ends the 12 days of Christmas
Youngstown News ^ | 01/06/2014 | The Rev. Thomas M. Constantine

Posted on 01/06/2014 4:32:51 AM PST by cll

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! You are wondering why I’m still saying Merry Christmas. Christmas was 10 days ago.

We all know the song “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Well, contrary to what many people may think, the 12 days of Christmas begins on Christmas Day and ends with the Feast of Theophany or Epiphany, which is Monday, Jan. 6. Theophany has just as an important role in our lives and the life of the Church as Christmas.

In the early Church, the Nativity of our Lord and Theophany, the feast of the baptism of Christ, were celebrated together Jan. 6. We never knew the exact date that our Lord and Savior Jesus was born. The date of his birth, however, was not as significant as who the person of Christ is. Thus, the church put a greater emphasis on our Lord’s baptism and the beginning of his ministry.

However, in the fourth century, the two feasts were separated. Christmas was transferred to Dec. 25. This was the beginning day on which the pagans celebrated the sun god. The Christians turned it into the celebration of the sun of righteousness, Jesus Christ.

Christmas, the birth of Jesus, was, and is, a historical event. It took place at a specific moment in history. The evangelists insisted on recording the event to emphasize that Christ assumed human flesh and that God’s incarnation was real. God and man co-existed in the mystery of Jesus Christ. Since Christ is God and man, and lives forever, we as Orthodox Christians proclaim that “Christ is Born” and not that he was born. His birth was not a one-time event; rather, it is an ongoing event that continues in our hearts every day of our lives.

On Jan. 6, we celebrate the other great feast — Theophany. The word Theophany comes from 1 Timothy 3:16, which states “God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” This relates to Christ’s Nativity.

Epiphany comes from another one of St. Paul’s letters, (Titus 2:11), which states, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” This relates to Christ’s baptism, for it was then that people began to recognize his divinity.

In the Gospel according to St. Mark, when Christ was baptized in the River Jordon, St. John the Baptist gave witness to what he saw. He saw the heavens open up and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. Then he heard the heavenly voice say, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10-11)

Through this confession of St. John the Baptist on the day that Christ was baptized, and with the manifestation of the Holy Trinity, we are assured that Jesus Christ is one of the Trinity who came into the world to save us all from sin and death. This is evident in some of the prayers of the services we celebrate on this day.

“For today the … choir of saints assembles with us and angels join men in keeping festival … Today the Sun that never sets has risen and the world is filled with splendor by the light of the Lord … Today the Uncreated of His own Will accepts the laying on of hands from His own creature …”

On the feast of Theophany, every Orthodox Church proclaims the divinity of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. Each parish conducts the “Blessing of Waters” service. Water is sanctified and is blessed as the waters were sanctified by Christ’s baptism. After the waters are blessed, priests visit the home of the parishioners and bless them.

The Eastern Orthodox Clergy Association of Mahoning Valley observes another tradition on the feast of Theophany. The group will meet at 3 p.m. Monday at Lake Glacier (lower parking lot) in Mill Creek MetroParks to pray for the well-being of the Valley and to bless the waters of Youngstown. A cross is thrown into the lake, symbolic of Christ blessing our Mahoning Valley. Everyone is welcome to pray for the prosperity of our Valley.

The Rev. Thomas M. Constantine is pastor of St. John the Forerunner Greek Orthodox Church in Boardman.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: epiphany; orthodox; reyes

1 posted on 01/06/2014 4:32:51 AM PST by cll
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To: rrstar96; AuH2ORepublican; livius; adorno; wtc911; Willie Green; CGVet58; Clemenza; Narcoleptic; ...
Feliz Día de los Santos Reyes!

Puerto Rico Ping! Please Freepmail me if you want on or off the list.


2 posted on 01/06/2014 4:34:04 AM PST by cll (Serviam!)
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To: cll

Also Epiphany, besides honoring the visit of the Magi and the baptism of Christ, also honors the first miracle done by Jesus, the changing of the water into wine at the wedding reception at Cana. It is there that His divinity also is first known and when Mary outside of the nativity speaks to her son.


3 posted on 01/06/2014 4:41:10 AM PST by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Biggirl
My wife calls today "Three Kings' (which I never heard before) and today we de-decorate our home.

I always hate this time because I get used to the warmth of Christmas trappings and everything seems so cold after the lights and red color come down

4 posted on 01/06/2014 4:46:46 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: Impy; fieldmarshaldj; KC_Lion; NFHale; Perdogg; Clintonfatigued

Watching the extended Christmas Holiday unfold in Italy was just AWESOME!

I will discuss this and more in my opus which I have begun preparing.


5 posted on 01/06/2014 4:50:18 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (You're a very weird person, Yossarian.)
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To: Biggirl
From the small Puerto Rican town of Juana Díaz, this group of Magi re-enactors have grown in fame over the years, to include numerous Papal audiences.


6 posted on 01/06/2014 4:54:19 AM PST by cll (Serviam!)
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Many thanks to the moderators for highlighting this Holiday. God Bless.


7 posted on 01/06/2014 5:00:04 AM PST by cll (Serviam!)
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To: knarf

Yes it is 3 Kings Day. Some countries give gifts on this day, while Christmas Eve and Christmas is a day of reflecting on the birth of Christ and seeing family.


8 posted on 01/06/2014 5:00:59 AM PST by HollyB
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To: cll

My son was a Magus yesterday. It suits his inflated self-image ;-).


9 posted on 01/06/2014 5:02:02 AM PST by Tax-chick (The superpowers ascribed to "feminists" make me wish I was one.)
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To: cll

Wasn’t yesterday Christmas in the eastern Orthodox tradition?


10 posted on 01/06/2014 5:04:42 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: cll

A few of my FRiends of Spanish descent have told me about their tradition of putting out straw for the camels on the Epiphany. They also get groups of people and go caroling in the neighborhood.


11 posted on 01/06/2014 5:10:05 AM PST by mware
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To: Tax-chick

Could be worse. When I was very young my adoptive Mormon dad prayed over a meal he concluded “in the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ” and since I had no diction reference for “thy”, my brain heard it as “my”.

Talk about pressure from high expectations.

Then went to church after that and heard another boy’s father give the invocation, concluded in the same way. I found out I was not the only Jesus Christ, apparently all the sons of mormons were Jesus Christ.

As if being mormon weren’t confusing enough ;)


12 posted on 01/06/2014 5:13:43 AM PST by Anton.Rutter
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To: SoFloFreeper

In Ethiopia, they will celebrate Christmas tomorrow.


13 posted on 01/06/2014 5:26:05 AM PST by Tax-chick (The superpowers ascribed to "feminists" make me wish I was one.)
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To: Anton.Rutter

I can see how that would be very confusing.


14 posted on 01/06/2014 5:26:34 AM PST by Tax-chick (The superpowers ascribed to "feminists" make me wish I was one.)
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To: SoFloFreeper

January 7th is Russian Orthodox Christmas. During the Soviet era New Year’s Day became the main official holiday and that is when Father Frost brought gifts.


15 posted on 01/06/2014 5:48:54 AM PST by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47)
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To: HollyB

It is also the start of Mardi Gras season with the Twelfth Night Revelers. Get a King Cake, but watch out for the baby.


16 posted on 01/06/2014 6:03:36 AM PST by sportutegrl
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To: GOPsterinMA; Impy; fieldmarshaldj; KC_Lion; Perdogg; Clintonfatigued

A “magnum” opus??? Heheh!


17 posted on 01/06/2014 6:31:55 AM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: NFHale; Impy; fieldmarshaldj; KC_Lion; Perdogg; Clintonfatigued

Indeed...:)


18 posted on 01/06/2014 6:36:18 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (You're a very weird person, Yossarian.)
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To: GOPsterinMA; Impy; fieldmarshaldj; KC_Lion; Perdogg; Clintonfatigued

I’d expect nothing less from ya, brother!!!!


19 posted on 01/06/2014 6:40:24 AM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
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To: NFHale; Impy; fieldmarshaldj; KC_Lion; Perdogg; Clintonfatigued

Thank you brother!


20 posted on 01/06/2014 6:42:16 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (You're a very weird person, Yossarian.)
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To: sportutegrl

Yep, with the first trolly car that comes out from the trolly deport filled with Mardi Gras revelers in New Orleans.

Heard that the King cake when a piece is cut, the one who finds the little baby in it wins.


21 posted on 01/06/2014 7:18:27 AM PST by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Biggirl

What a holy day this is. Lots to meditate on today. Thank-you for your post.


22 posted on 01/06/2014 8:38:09 AM PST by lulu16 (May the Good Lord take a liking to you!)
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To: GOPsterinMA

That opus better not mean what I think it means.


23 posted on 01/06/2014 8:44:29 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Well, I skipped the Census back in 2010...:)


24 posted on 01/06/2014 12:15:51 PM PST by GOPsterinMA (You're a very weird person, Yossarian.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj; Impy

The Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of BabylonThe Spoils of Babylon


25 posted on 01/09/2014 1:44:18 PM PST by GOPsterinMA (You're a very weird person, Yossarian.)
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To: GOPsterinMA

Meh. I saw ads for it, but thought it wasn’t my cup of tea.


26 posted on 01/09/2014 1:49:54 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Really? Me and Khent are breathless with anticipation!!!


27 posted on 01/09/2014 2:24:02 PM PST by GOPsterinMA (You're a very weird person, Yossarian.)
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To: GOPsterinMA; fieldmarshaldj

I had never heard of it, saw a commercial for it about an hour or 2 before it started, realized this post was in effect a recommendation, and watched it.

Strange, but very amusing. I have no idea what it’s primarily parodying, “The Thorn Birds”? Fausto never saw that


28 posted on 01/11/2014 12:25:35 AM PST by Impy (RED=COMMUNIST, NOT REPUBLICAN)
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To: Impy; fieldmarshaldj

“...realized this post was in effect a recommendation, and watched it.”

Yes, Khent was Touretting in anticipation and kept hitting “CTRL+V”...it worked on you!

“Strange, but very amusing. I have no idea what it’s primarily parodying, ‘The Thorn Birds’? Fausto never saw that”

The first episode was more amusing/funnier than “Anchorman 2”! I think it’s a rip on all of the 70’s/80’s miniseries - melodramatic schlock for the most part (except for “North and South”, that was good, minus the interracial stuff).

I remember “The Thorn Birds” very well, Fausto; it was one of Mom’s favorites. Starring a still-in-the-closet Richard Chamberlain and a then white hot Rachel Ward, who alas, has succumbed to butts and sun, in very, very, very tragic fashion. She was truly gorgeous back in the day.


29 posted on 01/11/2014 6:18:55 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (You're a very weird person, Yossarian.)
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