"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'
"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.
-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