Leigh Hatts  

The Epiphany: 6 January

Nina Somerset’s drawing of the Three Kings visiting the Holy Family

Today we recall the Three Kings arriving to see the Christ Child in Bethlehem.

By tradition they are  said to come with their gifts from different lands and so represent the first showing of Jesus to non-Jews.

Further manifestations of Christ came thirty years later including Christ’s baptism.

Some churches will remember the Baptism on Sunday whilst others, who are still keeping The Epiphany, will do so on Monday.

This afternoon at 3.30pm local time there is Vespers in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity followed by a procession to the site of Christ’s birth in the Grotto below.

It is also an extra special day in Cologne where the relics of the Three Kings are held in a chest displayed behind the cathedral’s high altar.

As crowds gather in the cathedral tonight elsewhere, beyond Europe, Russian Orthodox and Coptic Christians will be heading to church on their Christmas Eve.

Briefly we are united in celebrating Christmas ahead of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity later this month when Christians will come together.