Oklahoma City church opens doors to unusual visitors for Epiphany service

St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Oklahoma City recently opened its doors to unusual visitors — two camels — for an Epiphany service.
by Carla Hinton Published: January 11, 2014

An Oklahoma City church had several unusual visitors appear at a recent service.

Two camels were part of the Epiphany celebration Jan. 5 at St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, 14700 N May.

Epiphany is the Christian celebration of the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles, represented by the Magi.

The Magi also are known as the three kings or wise men.

Epiphany is generally observed Jan. 6.

According to the Bible, the three kings presented baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The Rev. Joseph Alsay, rector of St. Augustine, said the live camels have added a realistic and fun flair to the church's Epiphany service the past few years.

He said children, in particular, seem to enjoy watching as the unexpected visitors slowly make their way through the sanctuary.

Other colorful characters included several church members dressed as the kings or wise men. The church had not three, but six wise men regally walking in a processional and greeting guests as they entered the sanctuary.

As a special tribute in keeping with the gift-giving theme of the Magi, church members brought donations of infant and toddler clothing to place at the feet of the baby Jesus featured in a manger scene in the sanctuary.

Alsay said the clothing will be donated to Infant Crisis Services Inc.


by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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