The Church of the Holy Trinity observes feast of the Epiphany
Published 5:32 pm Thursday, January 7, 2021
Members of The Church of the Holy Trinity and local residents joined together Wednesday night at the church parking lot to celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, which observes the visit of the three kings, or Magi, to the Christ Child.
Holy Trinity’s rector, the Rev. Andy Andrews, said the theme for the service, called “Light the Night,” comes from the early church.
“Light the night comes from practices in ancient times to light a big fire on the 12th day of Christmas to symbolize the Christmas revelation that God loves us and to provide a light to the Epiphany as a festival of light all over the world,” Andrews said. “Christ’s light for love and healing and that’s good news for us Christians.
The service included a group singing of Christmas carols and gospel songs, prayer and scripture readings recounting the birth of Jesus and the visit of the kings, who presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and Myrrh.
Participants were also asked to write their prayers and blessings for the new year, and Mayor George Flaggs Jr. delivered a prayer for the city. It concluded with the burning of Christmas trees to mark the end of the Christmas season.
During the service, the Rev. Patrick Sanders, a Vicksburg native and Episcopalian priest who is rector of a church on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, talked about his own Epiphany.
He talked about his return home and his visit to Holy Trinity, which he attended as a child.
As he entered the knave of the church, he said, he was moved by the surroundings.
“This was where my star stopped; if I were going to circle back to the place where I was introduced to my Lord and Savior, by a mile, no questions asked, it’s that room,” he said. “It hit me like a truck in the chest.”
As he sat in the church, he said, he recalled the church’s stained-glass windows were a part of his spiritual life, adding, “They are a part of who I am as a spiritual person.”
Now that 2021 is here and 2020, with all of its problems, is leaving, Sanders said, “Hopefully we’re coming back to something again.”
“Maybe my new path is not forward; maybe I need to return to something. Go back to where my star stopped; where I was a child of faith, where I believed in something … where when the world tried to divide me, that I could come back to a center where we can all agree that the Lord is the Lord and God is God and we are all His and loved,” he said.
“I can let God take me; I can let God be in charge of me,” Sanders continued. “I can let God circle me back to where my star stopped and I was no longer fearful and 7 and in love with God with nothing before me but love and redemption.”