The word 'epiphany' means 'manifestation', 'appearance' or 'showing plainly'. After celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas we focus on Jesus as God's son, born to be Saviour of the world. The church celebrates the revelation of Jesus not just to the wise men, but also to all people. Epiphany is celebrated on 6 January.
When the wise men or magi noted the appearance of a special star, it signified to them that a great king had been born. The star eventually led them to Jesus, and they worshipped him and offered gifts of gold, frankinsence and myrhh.
On the first Sunday after Epiphany, the baptism of Jesus is celebrated. This was when God declared Jesus to be his beloved son.
In the following Sundays the readings continue to reveal more about who Jesus is and what he came to do. Jesus' miracles are often a feature of the Bible readings during these weeks, and include the wedding at Cana, his first miracle when he turned water into wine.
Historically, churches held worship services on 6 January. Now the Epiphany of our Lord is generally celebrated on the Sunday before, or the Sunday closest to, 6 January. The number of Sundays after Epiphany varies according to the date of Easter. Tranfiguration Sunday is always celebrated on the last Sunday before Lent begins.