The Feast of the Epiphany on January 6 marks the end of Christmas and the beginning of the season of Epiphany. The word "epiphany" means "manifestation." The season begins by celebrating the Magi's visit to the baby Jesus – an event that marks the revealing of Christ to the Gentiles.

The Magi  (Henry Siddons Mowbray)

The Magi (Henry Siddons Mowbray)

Epiphany also draws our attention to the other ways that Christ revealed Himself as Messiah: his baptism by John when a voice from heaven declares Him to be the Son of God, and His first miracle, turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana. 

The central theme of Epiphany is proclamation, and it's appropriate in this season, as we reflect on these events in Christ's life, to focus on the mission of the Church. The liturgical color is white.

Epiphany ends on February 2, the Feast of the Presentation (sometimes called Candlemas), which recalls the day that Jesus's parents presented him in the Temple, according to the Law of Moses, where Anna and Simeon prophesied over him. After February 2, we enter Ordinary Time until Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which in 2017 falls on March 1.

Further reading