Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Epiphany!........



Epiphany!.......

"Three men have come to the manger:
They have followed the star.
They adore the Child.
They prostrate themselves before him.
These three men are foreigners.
The God-Child comes for all!
His birth is good news for the whole earth!
IT IS EPIPHANY!
-Prayers for Feasts-

Epiphany in celebrated in many different ways in families, churches, and countries all over the world. Some people celebrate Epiphany by giving gifts and having family celebrations. Other families leave Christmas decorations up until the day after Epiphany marking the official end to the Christmas season. Still other families celebrate Epiphany by saying special prayers and blessing they're homes.
'Blessing the Doorways of the Home with Chalk'
20+C+M+B+10
"The numerals are those of the new year. The four crosses are the four seasons. C-M-B are the initials of the legendary names of the magi- Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar.
-Holy Name Parish-
The blessing of the doorways are followed with a prayer similar to this one:
"God of all time and space, with Christmas joy we praise you
for the year gone by
and for the year we have begun.
May this home we have made be filled with
kindness to one another, with hospitality to guests
and with abundant care for every stranger.
By the gentle light of a star guide all who
seek you on the paths of wonder, peace and charity.
Fill the year with good gifts for all the world as we
join with the angels in proclaiming your praise:
Glory in heaven, peace on earth, now and forever.
Amen"
-Holy Name Parish-
Some families also sing a Christmas Carol at this time like, 'We Three Kings of Orient Are.'

I don't ever remember hearing the term Epiphany when I was growing up. My mother always referred to it as 'little Christmas' which probably goes back to her Irish roots. We would usually put our tree up the weekend before Christmas and it was never taken down until the day after Epiphany. Even though my mother would tell us about 'Little Christmas' I don't think I ever really understood it until I got older. For me 'little Christmas' marked the end to the Christmas season. The day after Epiphany our home always seemed a little colder and bare. All of the remnants of Christmas would be gone. Our tree would be propped up outside in our back yard and after school we would decorate it with bread and sometimes popcorn. Then we would go into the house and watch as hundreds of birds converged on the tree. My mother would say they were having a little Christmas party of their own. The slightest noise would cause all of the birds to fly up into the sky like a dark cloud and then in a couple of minutes they would all be back again. I wanted to decorate the tree every day but we only did it once. Then on garbage day the tree would be gone and the cold days of January would set in.
I think I am going to start some new 'little Christmas' traditions of my own next year. After all it's never to late to start a new tradition. What about you? Do you have any special traditions you do with your family for Epiphany? I would love to hear from you.
I hope your day is blessed and beautiful in every way!
Happy Epiphany everyone ♥
With warmest regards, Carol

12 comments:

♥ Kathy said...

I hope your day is blessed too Carol ♥

GrandmaK said...

I think that traditions begin whenever and wherever we have the opportunity to share our lives with others and these special times find a way to be integrated into our lives over and over again! Thank you!!! Thais was grand. Cathy

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Sweet Carol,
I never celebrated this beautiful tradition, but I need to investigate this!!! Traditions are the thread that binds us together. I am so glad that God allows us to hold them, for in them, we extend our hearts to one another and hopefully shed His light! I hope the new year has been good to you so far! How is that Charli doing on the treadmill? She is looking real cute!!! Anita

Madeline's Album said...

With this post you have brought back many memories of my childhood. Thank you. Have a blessed day. Madeline

♥ Kathy said...

You have an award HERE

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Happy Epiphany, Carol! My post today is on the same. My tree is still up, too! :-)

I think that Episcopalians and Catholics do tend to recognize this holiday. Lutherans, too, and I like it. I didn't get my tree up till later, and I'm glad to have been able to enjoy it for the 12 days of Christmas! I slowly undecorate because I don't like a bare house in winter.

XO,

Sheila :-)

Channon said...

Raised Episco-Catholic, Epiphany has always "been there." I do have one last present for the Knight to open tonight, and Sissy's not about to start her insanely restrictive diet today either.

Vee said...

Oh I learned lots of interesting things today. The smell of baked chicken will soon fill the air here at Haven...I'm just looking forward to having a nice supper with the tree still up providing all that cheer against a very dark night. Good thing is that daylight is lasting a wee bit longer each day...soon I'll be able to notice it for myself. Happy Epiphany, Carol!

Eileen said...

We always called it 'Little Christmas' too! And all the decorations stayed up until the weekend after Little Christmas when I was young.
When I had my own kids I did celebrate with a cake (with three little crowns on it) and we gave them each a small gift, usually something religious like a Saint's medal or a rosary. I stopped when they got older, but I should start again for the grandkids.

I usually take the decorations down soon after New Year's Day but I leave up the Nativity set until the weekend after the Feast of the Epiphany. I'm usually happy to get the house back to 'normal' but I always feel sad putting away the Nativity.

Great post, Carol!
Happy Little Christmas!
Love to you,
Eileen

soggibottom said...

Soggibottom passing through, but not that quickly that I haven't read this beautiful post. x x x

The Muse said...

Oh Carol, I have this twice...and it just touches my spirit!
I love this entire time of year...one cannot help but be thankful for the Wonder of His Goodness and the capacity of Love He has for all of us!
Beautiful post!!
Love & Heaven's Blessings,
The Muse

PS. Word Games ~ adivashammer.blogspot
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SmilingSally said...

We've never celebrated Epiphany, Carol, but the Tarpon Springs community has a big time each year with the diving for the cross and a priest blessing the sponge fishermen and boats. It's not too far from where I live and the newspaper were full of the festivities.

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