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Epiphany Day: THE “TWELFTH DAY” OF CHRISTMAS

January 6 is Epiphany Day:
THE “TWELFTH DAY” OF CHRISTMAS.

EPIPHANY DAY initially began as a complex festival of the Eastern Greek Church (which claimed to be Orthodox=TRUE-WORSHIP and Ecumenical=WORLD-WIDE) equivalent to the Christmas of the Western Latin Church (which claimed to be Catholic=WORLD-WIDE).
The East holds Epiphany on 6th January, while the West holds separate Christmas on 25th December.
The East chose their date based on Macedonian and Egyptian Calendars, while the West calculated their date based on Julian Calendar to correspond with nine months from the date Christ died and was believed to have corresponded to same season He was conceived. The East celebrated three “Epiphania” (Greek for “MANIFESTATIONS”) on their EPIPHANY DAY.

These three Epiphanies or manifestations/revelations are
1. Incarnation of Christ as a baby born to Virgin Mary,
2. The manifestation of Christ to the Wise Men through the Star and
3. The revelation of Christ to Israel through the John’s testimony about the dovelike descent of the Holy Ghost and the heavenly voice testimony of the Father that Christ is His Beloved Son at Christ’s Baptism.

Today the West joins the East but celebrate mainly the visit of the Wise Men on Epiphany Day.

Christ died in the procuracy of Pilate, 34 years after the census of Augustus and the death of Herod the Great. That year Christ died on the day before the Jewish Passover which also coincided with the Friday before the Jewish Firstfruit usually 50 days before Pentecost (see Leviticus 23) according to the Jewish calendar of that year. This has been calculated to have corresponded with 25th March 30AD of the Roman Julian calendar of that year which was used by Pilate. The ancient Church believed Christ to have died the exact date Mary conceived Him at the visitation of Angel Gabriel. If He was then conceived so, he must have been born nine months later on 25th December.

Happy Epiphany!

*Very Rev. (Dr.) Ifechukwu U. Ibeme.*
Maiduguri

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