STAR OF WONDER: AN EPIPHANY STORY - Extending the Christmas Season


star of wonder

Epiphany celebrations throughout the centuries: Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian holidays, celebrated since the second century in the Eastern Church. In its early years, Epiphany was a double celebration honoring both the birth and the baptism of Jesus. The Syrian church maintained a combined festival, seeing the baptism as Jesus' "spiritual birth," and in some places Epiphany is still called "the holiday of the second birth."

star of wonder The Western Church adapted Epiphany to focus on the visit of the Magi, wise men (often called "kings") from afar who were able to interpret the stars. The whole Epiphany season celebrates manifestations of Jesus to the world; seasonal readings in the Western Church begin on January 6, Epiphany Day, with Matthew's account of the visit of the Magi, while the following Sundays in Epiphany include readings about Jesus' baptism by John in the Jordan, his first miracle at the wedding feast in Cana, and the miraculous feeding of 5000.

For Jesse in Star of Wonder, holding the hand of the infant Jesus is his Epiphany, his "aha!" moment of recognizing the Holy Child.

For further information, see Epiphany Legends, Art, and Traditions of the Season.

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