Christmas Eve and Epiphany - Best of Two Calendars

Today, January 6th is the Solemnity of the Epiphany in the Western Church, the 12th Day of Christmas. For the churches still using the Julian Calendar, it is December 24th, Christmas Eve. This chant for the Ninth Hour reflects the Eastern understanding that celebrates the wise men at Christmas Eve. Epiphany, also known as Theophany, in the East is a commemoration of Christ's baptism in the Jordan.

A look at the lyrics will show the poetic contrast between God's power and human weakness, something that was a marvel to Byzantine poets.

Today He Who holds the whole creation in His hand is born of a Virgin. He Whose essence none can touch is bound in swaddling-clothes as a mortal man. God, Who in the beginning fashioned the heavens, lies in a manger. He who rained manna on His people in the wilderness is fed on milk from His mother's breast. The Bridegroom of the Church summons the wise men; the Son of the Virgin accepts their gifts. We worship Your birth, O Christ. We worship Your birth, O Christ. We worship Your birth, O Christ. Show us also Your Holy Theophany"


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