At the Guild we often impart history to our apprentices, beginning with single words. This time our little lesson began with the word Epiphany.
…we celebrate words—Lexicon.
Epiphany is a word that comes from the Koine Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia from the verb “to appear” and means manifestation, appearance.
…we connect words to specific spaces in time—History.
Historically, the Feast of Epiphany was part of the Season of Christmas—Christmastide—and is a remembrance of the faithful journey of the three men from the East, the Wise Men, Magi.
Most of us are familiar with this stirring carol that celebrates the gentiles, represented by the Magi, approaching Jesus in worship. But did you know that this song has its roots in the American Civil War?
Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., author, illustrator, stained glass window designer, clergyman wrote this song for a 1857 Christmas Pageant. And the song still reminds us today of the great men who traversed afar, guided by a star to see the appearance of the child Jesus, the Messiah.
During those dark nights of Civil War I can’t help imagine that, amid gunfire and cannon roar, surely those who dared to look into the night sky on the battlefield were remembering that star that led the Magi to Jesus. And I can’t help imagining they prayed for peace on earth and good will to all people. And I find it curious that this singular Christmas song arises from this particular era of American history.
…we apply what we collaborate to integrate learning in original ways—Arts.
And so, in the Guild tradition, we made music to integrate this little lesson. Attached is our first recording of the year from Arts—“We Three Kings”—sung by our Primary and early Elementary apprentices with sweet orchestration and instrumentals by our resident musicologist, Miss Hannah (thank you Hannah!).
Here’s to a delightful and rich new year of learning.
WE THREE KINGS