For many people, Christmas has been over for almost two weeks. For Catholics and many other Christians, Christmas is a 12-day celebration which ends on January 6 with the Feast of the Epiphany. In many families, the Christmas tree is not taken down until after the Epiphany.
The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the three wise men finding Jesus after following the star in the East. Many people believe that the Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" carries a secret meaning with each of the gifts mentioned in the carol representing a religious truth.
The partridge in a pear tree is thought to represent Jesus, the two turtledoves the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. You can read about the meaning behind each of the gifts here.
Legend holds that this carol was sung by early Christians as a way to show their faith without persecution. Nobody knows for sure whether or not the legend is true but this carol is one of many that is often sung during Christmas concerts.
In today's Liturgical Readings, Jesus' gift to the world is revealed. The Gospel of Matthew tells of the magi being sent out by King Herod to find the newborn king and to tell Herod where the child was, supposedly so Herod could also worship him.
Upon finding Jesus, the magi gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and worshipped him. They had been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, whose real purpose was to kill the new king, and went back to their country by a different route.
You can join in the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany at St. Thomas More Catholic Church at 8:30 or 10:45 a.m. St. Thomas More is located at 3015 Roundelay Road.
Mass times today at Holy Cross Catholic Church are 8 and 11 a.m. There is also a Mass in Spanish at 2 p.m. Holy Cross is located at 710 Clay Street.
Worship times at Timberlake United Methodist Church today are 8:30, 9:45 and 11 a.m. There is also a non-traditional worship service at 6:33 p.m. Timberlake United Methodist is located at 21649 Timberlake Road.
At Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, services today are at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. and there is a special musical celebration at 4 p.m. "New Year Joy, An Epiphany Celebration with Vespers" will include the music of Bach, Greene, Callahan and others. The event is free and open to the public at the church, located at 1000 Langhorne Road.