Excerpt from The Liturgical Year, Vol. 2: Christmas
But, it was not till the fourth century that the Churches of the East began to keep the Feast of our Saviour's Birth in the month of December. Up to that period, they had kept it, at one time, on the sixth of January, thus u... niting it, under the generic term of Epiphany, with the Manifestation of our Saviour made to the Magi, and, in them, to the Gentiles; at another time, as Clement of Alexandria tells us, they kept it on the 25th of the month Pachon, (may or on the 25th of the month Pharmuth, (april St. John Chrysostom, in the Homily we have just cited, which he gave in 386, tells us that the Roman custom of celebrating the Birth of our Saviour on the 25th December, had then only been observed ten years in the Church of Antioch. It is probable that this change had been introduced in Obedience to the wishes of the Apostolic See, wishes which received additional weight by the edict of the Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian, which appeared towards the close Of the fourth century, and decreed that the Nativity and Epiphany of our Lord should be made two distinct Festivals. The only Church, that has main tained the custom Of celebrating the two mysteries on January 6th, is that Of Armenia; owing, no doubt, to the circumstance of that country's not being under the authority Of the Emperors; as, also, because it was withdrawn, at an early period, from the in¿uence of Rome, by schism and heresy.
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