The Second Sunday after the Epiphany, An Epiphany Procession with Carols, Saint Thomas Church, New York City, by the Rector

Unraveling the origins of early Christian festivals means wading backwards, as it were, through how the gospel lessons, and the celebrations they inspired, were understood by the generations of Christians who came before us. In the Christian West, second-century Christian writer and teacher Justin Martyr wrote that the wise men were kings from Arabia.[1] Matthew’s gospel, of course, doesn’t mention “kings”; he speaks of “Magi”—probably best understood as Persian wise men, priests, astrologers.[2]
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