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The Feast of the Epiphany falls on the 6th January and marks the beginning of the brief but purposeful season of Epiphany. Epiphany means "manifestation" and the traditional observation begins with the celebrated arrival of the Magi/ Three Kings or Three Wise Men at the Nativity Crib. With all other decorations safely away or being recycled, the Crib remains in our churches for this moment - for the moment of the manifestation of Christ to the world.
Epiphany then explores other ways in which Christ reveals himself to be the Son of God: the celebration of His baptism by John - when the voice from heaven declared Jesus to be God's beloved Son. We then explore Jesus's first miracle - when He turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana.
The season of Epiphany provides an opportunity for the Church to pray for the worldwide mission of the Church. The week of Prayer for Christian Unity falls appropriately during Epiphany and will feature the theme of Justice. I will be welcomed to preach at the United Reformed Church in Malvern, and our churches across both parishes will welcome the Reverend Keith Martin in exchange! Christian Unity services will take place on the 20th January 2019 - see our Link sheet for further details. A Churches Together in Malvern service will take place at 4pm at St Andrews on the 20th January too, with other events planned for the week following. We must cheer on our teams that are practicing hard for the inter church games evening happening that week.
The end of the season is marked by the Feast of the Presentation on the 3rd February 2019. Jesus is brought to the Temple, as was the custom. There he was recognised by Simeon and Anna for who he truly is. They declare him to be "a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of God's people, Israel". Our Candlemas services at Powick at 9.30am (note time change) and Madresfield (11am- as usual) will make use of a procession of light as party of the liturgy as well as the singing of the Nunc Diminitis. You might wish to make a Christingle and bring not along with you, or you can hold a candle! It will hopefully be an insightful service - indeed just how the Epiphany season should be, in my view. Blessings - The Reverend Gary Crellin