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Catholic Family Vignettes

A collage of literary snapshots from the life of a large traditional Catholic family

Date

January 2, 2008

As we approach the Feast of Epiphany


This Sunday is the Feast Of Epiphany. This feast has also been called “Twelfth Night” (as it marks the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas), “Theophany” (as it is a revelation of the Divinity of the Christ Child), and “Three Kings Day” (in honor of the Magi who sought the Holy Child).

In some households, children receive gifts left by the Magi or La Befana. We observe the tradition of giving gifts on this day, small reminders that Christ received gifts from the Three Kings…gifts which prefigured His death and revealed His Divinity.

This year we will celebrate Epiphany by hosting a brunch after Mass. Our dear friends, the Heitzenraters are visiting from Texas, and will be the “guests of honor,” with many mutual friends in attendance, as well. Family, friends, food and fun.

After brunch, the children will place the Three Kings (Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar) in their places, at the Holy Crib. Our guests will receive a piece of blessed chalk and a copy of the Epiphany House Blessing:

+Epiphany House Blessing+

All make the Sign of the Cross.

Head of Household: “Peace be to this house and: to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Reader: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be….. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3.14)

Using chalk, write on the outside of your house, above or next to an entrance:

(write the first half of the current year)
+20
Christus
Mansionem
Benedicat
08+
(write the other half of the year)

Looks like this:

+20CMB08+

These words mean. “May Christ bless this house”. (Each word could be written by a different member of the household.)

Or optionally you may use the names of the Magi

(write the first half of the current year)
+20
Caspar
Melchior
Balthazar
08+
(write the other half of the year)

(Each name could be written by a different member of the household.)

All: Lord God of heaven and earth, you revealed your only begotten Son to every nation by the guidance of a star. Bless this house and all who inhabit it. May we be blessed with health, goodness of heart, gentleness and the keeping of your law. Fill us with the light of Christ, that our love for each other may go out to all. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

And don’t forget the King Cake! A lovely tradition long associated with Epiphany. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. A bundt cake, frosted or sugared with traditional purple, yellow and green. A small coin or plastic “baby Jesus” placed under a piece of cake and the recipient is King or Queen for a day.

Looking for a recipe? Check out this one. Or perhaps you’d prefer this.

Happy Feast of Epiphany!

Sick humor…

I spent a good portion of yesterday suffering from the effects of a nasty cold that just doesn’t want to go away. Standing before the mirror brushing my hair, I made the following comment to my husband:

“Gosh, honey…I looked well enough yesterday, but tonight I look like absolute death!”

Six year old Charlotte walked into the room at that moment, took one look at me and said, “It’s okay, Mommy. Some Moms just don’t do fashion.”

Coming from the little girl sporting a brand new hair cut of her own design. I love my kids!

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